A proposal by Gering Senator John Stinner to eliminate part of the $288-million dollar budget shortfall still facing the next biennial budget by reducing the required budget reserve from 3% to 2% is not getting support from Governor Pete Ricketts.
Stinner says his idea would free up about $85-million dollars. But Governor Pete Ricketts told KNEB News he believes budget cuts are still the best way to address the shortfall. Ricketts said by taking the reserve down the state is not limiting expanses, which he claims needs to be done, especially with the possibility of revenues declining more when the Forecasting Board gives its projections in April.
Ricketts did praise Stinner, however, for his work as Chair of the Appropriations Committee and getting initial legislation passed quickly that had cuts to balance the budget for this fiscal year.
Ricketts also said passing tax relief legislation in this legislative session is still vital despite the budget shortfall the state is facing in the next biennium.
Ricketts has proposed income and property tax relief proposals for this session and he told KNEB News it is important both get the necessary support to avoid any procedural delays such as filibusters .
Ricketts’ income tax proposal is tied to revenue increases while his property tax relief proposal adjusts valuation of ag land to its income potential rather than market value changes.