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(Neb)-Chadron School Board Urging Patrons To Lobby Lawmakers  Listen

By: John Axtell Posted at: 04/12/2017 11:27 AM
CHADRON - The Chadron School Board has formally endorsed the school funding and property tax relief proposal of Nebraskans United For Property Tax Reform and Education, a coalition of 16 agricultural and school groups formed 2 months ago.

      Nebraskans United has been pushing for a property tax relief package that includes "adequate and sustainable" funding for K-12 public schools while shifting the tax burden away from property owners.

      School board president Tom Menke says it's an approach and a coalition that needs and deserves strong rural support.

     Chadron Superintendent Dr Caroline Winchester has been one of the most active administrators in the state in terms of getting the senators information on the need for school finance and property tax reform, but Menke says a broader lobbying effort of the Legislature is needed.

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Menke is especially encouraging parents and students to write not just their senator - Tom Brewer of Gordon - but those in Lincoln and Omaha as well with specific examples of how the funding struggles of the Chadron Public Schools is affecting them individually.

      Spending in the Chadron school district has increased an average of 1.2% a year over the past decade - less than the inflation rate - while its share of state aid has dropped an average of 1.5% a year.

      In a related story, lawmakers sent to final reading by voice vote a bill that includes a provision that helps keep ag land from being taxed on its development potential.

     Specifically, it requires a parcel of land used primarily for agriculture or horticulture to be assessed without regard to whether the parcel is platted and subdivided into separate lots for possible future development.


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