Farm Bureau members were in Lincoln Thursday to share concern about property taxes with state lawmakers. The Revenue Committee heard testimony on a pair of bills to reduce the level of value on agricultural land for tax purposes.
Sen. Lydia Brasch of Bancroft, Neb., introduced LB 145
. The bill would reduce the level of value of agricultural land from 75 percent to 65 percent of market value for taxes paid to all local government entities. Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation State Board Member Kevin Peterson
, from Osceola, Neb., testified in support of the bill pointing out that property taxes on agricultural land have increased dramatically over the past few years, sometimes as much as 70 percent.
Sen. Dan Watermeier of Syracuse, Neb., introduced LB 101
. The bill would reduce the level of value on agricultural land from 75 percent to 65 percent over a 5-year period, but only for school tax purposes. Peterson
also offered Nebraska Farm Bureau's support of this bill. In his testimony, Peterson noted that farmers and ranchers are asked to shoulder the majority of the burden of funding for many rural school districts and the bill would help lessen and better equalize that funding burden. Farm Bureau members Rod Hollman of Lancaster County and Doug Saathoff of Adams County also offered testimony before the Revenue Committee in support of reduced agricultural land values.