Property Tax Divide Shows, in Nebraska Legislative Floor Debate

Property Tax Divide Shows, in Nebraska Legislative Floor Debate
Senator Tom Briese, of Albion

BEATRICE – Nebraska lawmakers were debating a bill on the floor Tuesday that illustrates the urban-rural differences on the property tax debate.

Senator Tom Briese’s bill, under a proposed amendment, would value agriculture land at 30% of its actual value, for the purposes of paying off school bond issues and interest.

Senator Sue Crawford urged caution advancing LB 183.

:27                  “with thirty percent”

Senator Bruce Bostelman says he’s glad to see legislators discussing the impact of property taxes.  He says a lot of farmers in his district have seen property taxes in the past ten years increase, 150-to-200 percent.

:27                  “wholesale cost”

Senator Carol Blood described Briese’s bill to reduce ag land valuation for bond issues a targeted approach, when what is needed, is something more comprehensive.

:12                  “not there, yet”

Briese told colleagues setting aside his measure is not an option, for him. He said he’s willing to consider changing the 30% figure but wants his colleagues to advance the bill.  He reminded lawmakers how difficult it has been over the years, to achieve comprehensive property tax reform.

:18                  “the way of the solution”

Senator Steve Lathrop feels the bill is an attempt to manage a big problem, with a smaller solution.  He says Nebraska got into the difficulty it now has, by giving away its tax base.

:25                  “public education”

On Thursday, the Leigslature’s Revenue Committee will hold public hearings on more comprehensive tax restructuring solutions.

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