(Neb)-Revenue Committee Sends Property Tax Relief Plan To Floor
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - The Nebraska Legislature's Revenue Committee yesterday finalized and sent to the floor a bill to lower property taxes in the state by an estimated 20% by boosting state aid to K-12 schools. Floor debate is expected to begin next Tuesday.
The increased state aid would be funded by raising the state sales tax a half cent and the cigarette tax 36-cents while cutting the current property tax relief tax credit fund and eliminating sales tax exemptions for more than 30 goods or services including junk food, soft drinks, home and vehicle repair and maintenance, escort services, and hair care.
The committee vote of 6-0 with 2 senators abstaining came after many hours of debate and hearings that still resulted in some rural members feeling the package doesn't do enough for farmers who've continued to see their property taxes increase sharply while farm income has decreased sharply.
Gov. Pete Ricketts, who has made it clear throughout the session that opposes any bill that lowers one tax by raising another, wasted no time making his feelings known on the property tax package - issuing a statement calling it the largest tax increase in state history.
Ricketts said he was "especially appalled that the committee is proposing a $170 million property tax increase by cutting existing property tax relief in half for farmers and homeowners" that would leave working Nebraskans "footing the bill for nearly $600 million in new government spending."
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