Continuing corrections reform as another deadly incident occurs
One of my top priorities as Governor is to reduce the tax burden on all Nebraskans to grow our state.
The Tax Foundation ranks Nebraska 14th highest for income tax collections per capita and USA Today rates us fifth highest for property taxes. We can, and must, do better.
As I travel Nebraska, people share with me their personal stories about how taxes are hurting their families and businesses.
Roxie and her husband run a small restaurant and family farm near Fremont. Last year, they took out a second mortgage on their house to pay their property and income tax bill. For Roxie, tax reform is the difference between keeping the business and farm, or shuttering their operation.
This is not an isolated situation. I hear these stories from Nebraskans in every corner of our state. Each story deepens my resolve to deliver better tax policy to Nebraskans.
I have been working closely with Revenue Committee Chair Jim Smith and Agriculture Committee Chair Lydia Brasch to put together a tax reform package that will provide meaningful tax relief to families and small business owners now.
Nebraskans in every county want to see a change in how property taxes are assessed, and families want to keep more of the money they earn. This is why this tax package reforms both ag land valuations and reduces income taxes.
Property tax reform must be delivered for our farm and ranch families. Income taxes must be reduced to help our hardworking families, grow small business opportunities and create new and good-paying jobs.
To get either one of these goals accomplished, we are going to have to work together and do both.
Last week, the Revenue Committee advanced a comprehensive tax reform package in LB 461 that includes both the property and income tax reforms I announced at the beginning of this session. The package will go to the full Legislature very soon.
Here are the top five things you should know about the tax plan:
Property tax reform first: The plan changes the way ag land is valued for taxation purposes beginning in 2018, moving from a comparable market sales approach to valuing land based on its income potential. Functionally, this plan would have reduced ag land property valuations by $12 billion if it had been in place in 2017. This would have been an average reduction of 12 percent statewide. With flat levies, this would have reduced property tax on ag land by about $147 million in 2017. This plan also protects our K-12 schools with a projected investment of over $30 million each year in the state aid formula.
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