Slavery, TIF, payday lending on ballot
Nebraska voters face six statewide questions in November. Four are statutory initiatives proposed by the initiative petition process. Two are constitutional amendments proposed by the Legislature.
Today we’ll look at those amendments and one of the initiative petitions.
Proposed Amendment No. 1 prohibits the use of slavery or involuntary servitude as punishment for conviction of a crime. Nebraska prohibited slavery and involuntary servitude in 1875, except as punishments for those convicted of crimes. A similar situation exists in 11 other states and nine states permit involuntary servitude but not slavery as criminal punishment.
A ”yes” vote supports removing the language from the Nebraska Constitution. A “no” vote would keep the language in the state constitution and allow the use of slavery and involuntary servitude as criminal punishments.
Proposed Amendment No. 2 would amend the Nebraska Constitution to allow the Legislature to extend the maximum amount of time for the repayment of indebtedness related to tax increment financing (TIF) from 15 years to 20 years if more than one half of the property in the project area is designated as extremely blighted.
TIF is intended to finance economic development in an area. In Nebraska, the governing bodies of cities and villages can enact resolutions to declare an area as substandard, blighted and in need of redevelopment and create a TIF district. The local government can then issue bonds to finance improvements associated with redevelopment projects in the district.
Local governments can use increased tax revenue, resulting from increased property values due to development, to pay off the bonds over a 15-year period. The ballot measure would increase the period to pay off the bonds and indebtedness from 15 years to 20 years for TIF districts designated as extremely blighted. In
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