Tax Relief Debate Heats Up as Session Meets Midway Point

The Nebraska Legislature reached the midway point of the session this week. First round floor debate on LB 939 (Linehan), a bill to reduce individual income taxes, wrapped up with senators voting to advance the measure to Select File. Rural senators have made it clear that an equitable deal on property taxes must be made before Select File debate begins on LB 939 or they will not vote to pass the bill. Without those rural senators, LB 939 has very little chance of passing. Rest assured Nebraska Farm Bureau will not lose sight of our highest priority, ensuring the property tax relief we currently have remains intact. You can help urge the Legislature to pass LB 723 (Briese), now on Select File, by contacting your senator today. As amended, LB 723 places a floor of $560 million under the Refundable Income Tax Credit created by LB 1107 in 2020.

Public hearings will conclude next week, and senators will then switch to all day floor debate. Also, next week, the state’s economic forecasting board meets to certify the state’s revenue projections. Those projections directly impact how much the state has available to fund its priorities, after which the Appropriations Committee is expected to release their budget proposal in early March.

Gov. Ricketts Appoints Jacobsen to Legislature

Governor Ricketts named North Platte banker Mike Jacobson as the person to replace former Senator Mike Groene and represent District 42 in the Legislature.

Nebraska Farm Bureau President Mark McHargue released the following statement on Jacobson’s appointment. “On behalf of Nebraska Farm Bureau, I want to offer our congratulations to Mike Jacobson on his appointment to the Nebraska Legislature serving District 42. As founder and CEO of Nebraskaland Bank in North Platte, Mike brings with him an understanding of the vital importance of agriculture to our state and a commitment to service. We look forward to working with Mike in the coming days and weeks as we continue our effort to enrich the lives of Nebraska farm and ranch families. We thank Governor Ricketts for his swift action in appointing Mr. Jacobson.”

The State Of: Regulatory Advocacy

Through a series of articles we call The State, the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Advocacy and Political Affairs team is providing analysis related to “the state of” various aspects related to advocacy and political trends impacting farmers and ranchers and rural Americans.

A key element for many organizations is regulatory advocacy, through which advocates are activated to comment on an agency regulation and influence the outcome with both qualitative and quantitative messages on impacts of a proposed rule. 

This form of advocacy is just as important as legislative advocacy and is sometimes overlooked. Keep in mind that after a bill is signed into law, rules are written to carry out the implementation of the new law. Regulatory advocacy is another bite at the apple; it is another opportunity to limit or expand the scope of a statute as it is implemented.

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