Lincoln, Neb., March 14, 2017 – A pair of bills targeted to changing Nebraska tax policy fail to meet the principles outlined by a growing coalition of taxpayers, business owners, local school board members, superintendents, agriculture, and education groups from across Nebraska. Nebraskans United for Property Tax Reform and Education coalition members met this week to discuss both LB 640 and LB 461, bills slated for debate by the full Legislature following the Easter break.
“Our two principles are very clear. We believe adequate and sustainable funding of high quality K-12 education is imperative for the future of Nebraska. We also believe tax reform which reduces the over-reliance on local property taxes is necessary to ensure our tax system is fair to all Nebraska taxpayers, from homeowners in Douglas county to ranchers in the sandhills and all across urban and rural Nebraska,” said Mike Lucas Superintendent of York Public Schools. “We appreciate Senator Groene's efforts with LB 640 but fear for its sustainability and don't see it as a viable, long-term solution. LB 461 doesn't provide meaningful, long-term property tax reform that many of our elected officials have promised. Property tax reform is the number one issue we hear citizens asking for."
Coalition members noted provisions in both bills not only jeopardize current and future funding for Nebraska schools, but also fail to provide meaningful property tax reform and relief to Nebraska property taxpayers.
“The Legislature should be focusing on measures that work to better the climate for the property taxpayers who have been asked to take on more and more responsibility for funding our schools, while at the same time not put school funding at risk. These bills don’t pass either test,” said Doug Nienhueser, a representative of 'Nebraska Fair,' a group comprised of farmers in Seward and York counties."
Nebraskans United includes property owners, ag and education groups, school board members, superintendents (representing all school districts across the state), and other taxpayers across Nebraska who have come together to urge the legislature to act this year to balance the state's property tax system and reduce the overreliance on property taxes to adequately fund K-12 education. Nebraska needs a more equitable system to fund the state's education priorities.
Nebraskans United for Property Tax Reform and Education includes:
- Nebraska Farm Bureau
- Nebraska State Education Association
- Reform for Nebraska’s Future
- Nebraska Council of School Administrators
- Nebraska Corn Growers Association
- Nebraska Farmers Union
- Women Involved in Farm Economics
- Nebraska Soybean Association
- Nebraska Pork Producers
- The Nebraska Wheat Growers
- Nebraska Rural Community Schools Association
- Nebraska Fair
- Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska
- Gage County Property Tax Group
- Nebraska Grange
- Center for Rural Affairs
- Stand For Schools
- Greater Nebraska Schools Association: Bellevue, Bennington, Blair, Columbus, Elkhorn, Fremont, Gering, Grand Island, Gretna, Hastings, Kearney, Lexington, Lincoln, McCook, Millard, Norfolk, Norris, North Platte, Omaha, Papillion-La Vista, Plattsmouth, Ralston, Schuyler, South Sioux City, Westside Community Public Schools.
- Schools Taking Action for Nebraska Children’s Education: Beatrice, Blair, Chadron, Columbus, Crete, Fairbury, Gothenburg, Holdrege, Nebraska City, Norris, Seward, South Sioux City, Wahoo, Waverly, York Public Schools.