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(Neb)-Ricketts Unveils Tax Plan  Listen

By: John Axtell Posted at: 01/10/2018 11:55 PM
LINCOLN, Neb. - Gov. Pete Ricketts gave his annual State of the State address to the Unicameral Wednesday morning and pronounced things to be good.

    Ricketts acknowledged problems, including the fact Nebraska is a little over a quarter-way into its current 2-year budget looking at a $170-million dollar shortfall that could rise to $200-million if federal funding drops more.

     Still, he was confident the Legislature could overcome the shortfall just like it did last year when major changes were needed for both the current and coming biennial budgets.

   Ricketts said that to help meet the shortfall he was implementing a 2% across the board spending cut for the rest of this fiscal year and 4% next year but with targeted spending increases in some areas including corrections and services to the developmentally disabled.

     He also unveiled a new tax package that again includes property tax and income tax relief, but without adding additional funding. The property tax portion gives refundable income tax credits of a maximum $230 per residential homestead and an uncapped 10% of property taxes paid on ag land.

       Ricketts said it would be funded through the existing property tax credit program, but would exclude out-of-state landowners who don't file income taxes in Nebraska. Currently, 6% of property tax credits on homes and 14% on ag land go to non-Nebraska residents.

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Ricketts would also use money from existing tax credit programs to lower the state's top personal and corporate income tax rate. The individual rate - which starts at $29,800 - would drop from 6.85% to 6.69% while the top corporate income tax rate would go from 7.81% to 6.69%.

    The plan also commits $10 million dollars over two years to bolster state workforce development, identified by businesses as a top priority.


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