Gov. Dave Heineman signed a pair of key agriculture bills into law this week. One would provide monies to help with statewide management of Nebraska water resources, while the other would eliminate the sales tax on agricultural repair and replacement parts. Farm Bureau supported both the measures.
The governor’s signing of LB 96 will eliminate the sales tax on repair and replacement parts on agricultural machinery and equipment. The change will make Nebraska competitive with neighboring states that don’t charge sales tax for that purpose. Sen. Annette Dubas of Fullerton introduced the bill during the 2013 legislative session with support from Nebraska Farm Bureau. The bill is estimated to save farmers and ranchers in the collective between $7 million and $10 million a year. The new law goes into effect Oct. 1, 2014.
The governor also signed LB 905 into law. The bill was one of several budget bills and contained roughly $31 million in funding for programs and projects for managing the state’s water resources. A portion of the funding will go toward finishing up a backlog of water funding programs. The remaining portion of the $31 million will be channeled into a new water sustainability fund to address new water management programs and projects. Despite the Governor’s signing of the bill, the use of the monies dedicated for the new Water Sustainability Funds is still in question as lawmakers are still working on an accompanying bill that would provide the means for those dollars to be spent.
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