Erdman labels governor's property tax plan a 'fantasy'
12 January, 2018, 22:36
Sen. Steve Erdman of Bayard, who is leading the charge for major property tax relief legislation, rejected Gov. Pete Ricketts' new tax reduction plan on Thursday, describing it as "fantasy" and "an illusion" in terms of providing meaningful property tax reduction.
"The solution, and (Olson and I) have talked about this and I've talked to other folks as well, is to actually sell the land", Ricketts said.
"I'm going to work with the Legislature to close that gap without raising taxes", Ricketts said.
While the state had its positive achievements this past year, Ricketts said the state also faces challenges.
The third part of the legislation would invest an additional $10 million over the next two years for workforce development, something the state doesn't now have.
Last summer, Ricketts said he signed an executive order ordering all state agencies to come forward with additional steps to cut regulatory red tape.
State Sen. John Stinner of Gering, chairman of the budget-crafting Appropriations Committee, called the governor's budget a reasonable and doable proposal and said he was comfortable with the amount to be taken from the cash reserve.
Individuals and businesses from across the USA are taking note, Ricketts said.
"We are at about nine percent annually as far as the number of kids in the state's child welfare system".
Trade missions to Canada, China, Japan, Denmark and elsewhere have spurred growth on the Great Plains, Ricketts said. "We have to take care of our kids". Ricketts is proposing an additional $35 million in the budget for the Child Welfare and Public Assistance Task Force. "However, until such time, we will keep all options on the table for our members, including a ballot measure that would give Nebraskans the opportunity to vote and demonstrate their desire for property tax relief". But Bolz said another is that the Department of Health and Human Services is not meeting legal requirements to reduce caseloads for child welfare workers, resulting in high turnover. However, he said he has heard stories of work still needing to be done. I represent 20,000 of them and not one has told me that as they move to higher tax states out east and west.
Property tax relief will now be delivered as a credit on state taxes, to ensure Nebraska property taxpayers receive relief. "My proposal will identify new revenue sources to be directed towards property tax relief, while at the same time protecting the interests of K-12education", Briese said.
The Erdman bill would provide an immediate $1.1 billion in property tax relief through state income tax credits and refunds equal to 50 percent of property taxes paid to local schools.
"He was totally in favor of selling the surface rights, getting it back on the tax rolls, reducing government waste and everything we were after, he was spot on with where we were at", Olson said.
HOMEOWNER & AG PRODUCER RELIEF: Restructures existing property tax credits to prioritize middle-income Nebraska homeowners and ag producers.
"We have to remain laser-focused on growing Nebraska", he said.
Ricketts also attempted to cut off funding from abortion clinics a year ago through a budget proposal that included language that would have redirected federal Title X funds to entities that offer a broad range of health services. Ricketts plan includes across the board cuts of 2 percent and 4 percent over then next two years.
In addition to Grand Island, Ricketts also spoke in North Platte and Scottsbluff as part of his State of the State fly-around.
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