On Mon., Sept. 23, the Legislature's Tax Modernization Commission kicked
off its public hearings around the state in Scottsbluff, in order to gather
input from interested citizens as part of its comprehensive study of Nebraska's
tax system. The Commission is specifically examining the distribution of
property, income, and sales taxes for equity, competitiveness, stability, etc.
Approximately 165 people attended the Scottsbluff hearing, including 28 Farm
Bureau members from around the Panhandle, six of whom offered testimony. With
agriculture being the backbone of western Nebraska's economy, it was not
surprising that the overwhelming majority of testifiers expressed a need for
property tax relief, especially for agricultural landowners and young farmers
and ranchers struggling with personal property tax liabilities.
continued its second day of public hearings on Tues., Sept. 24 at the North Platte
Community College with a crowd numbering 100+. As of this writing, the repeated
message from the first hour of testifiers again stressed the need for property
tax relief for farmers and ranchers, with many suggesting that the sales tax
base be broadened in order to finance new property tax relief measures. Three
Farm Bureau members have testified thus far at the North Platte hearing to tell
their personal stories about how increases in their property tax burdens have
affected their operations in recent years.
The Commission will conclude its week
of public hearings in Norfolk on Thurs., Sept. 26, and Farm Bureau members
in the area are encouraged to attend and share their stories as well.
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