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LINCOLN, NEB. – "Today, as part of his state of the state address, Governor Ricketts outlined his ideas for providing property tax relief to Nebraskans. While we appreciate his continued interest in property taxes and willingness to bring ideas to the table, including his proposal related to agricultural land valuation, the actions outlined today fall short of moving Nebraska toward overdue tax reform that reduces Nebraska’s over-reliance on property taxes to fund government services.”

“The Nebraska Farm Bureau has made it clear to the Governor and others that smaller, band-aid solutions, that provide minimal property tax relief, are not the solution to the property tax problem. As I’ve said on numerous occasions, property taxes account for 48 percent of the total combined collections of property, state sales, and state income taxes, while sales tax accounts for only 19 percent of the burden. Nebraska Farm Bureau’s solution to the property tax problem is not increased taxes and spending. It is revenue neutral tax reform, where Nebraska’s tax policy better balances the tax burden among these three tax sources.”

“I understand politics, but I also understand good public policy. Nebraska Farm Bureau and the Governor agree we should not raise taxes, which is why we have proposed a revenue neutral approach of broadening the sales tax base to secure equal dollar-for-dollar reductions in property taxes for all property owners as a way to balance the tax burden. It is important to remind everyone that politics as usual is what has led Nebraska homeowners, businesses, and farmers to pay the seventh highest property tax rate in the nation.”

“It’s time for major solutions. It’s critical the Legislature and Governor Ricketts demonstrate to the vast majority of Nebraskans who want property tax reform that they’ve not only heard the message, but are willing to show leadership to act on property tax reform to make Nebraska a better place for Nebraska families to live and grow their businesses. Far too many elected officials have promised to fix our state’s flawed tax structure that places a disproportionate burden on property taxpayers when campaigning, only to turn their backs on the issue once in office.”

“We look forward to continuing the dialogue with the Governor, the Legislature, and others as we work to secure tax reform for Nebraska’s property taxpayers.”

The Nebraska Farm Bureau is a grassroots, state-wide organization dedicated to supporting farm and ranch families and working for the benefit of all Nebraskans through a wide variety of educational, service and advocacy efforts. More than 61,000 families across Nebraska are Farm Bureau members, working together to achieve rural and urban prosperity as agriculture is a key fuel to Nebraska’s economy. For more information about Nebraska Farm Bureau and agriculture, visit www.nefb.org.