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Steve NelsonLegislature Fails to Act on Property Tax Relief

As you know by now, the Nebraska Legislature has adjourned for the year, ending a 60-day legislative session in which, the Nebraska Legislature again failed to act to provide property tax relief for Nebraskans.

Heading into this session we were optimistic that something would finally get done. There were several different bills introduced that had pieces that could deliver significant relief. Nebraska Farm Bureau supported a number of them, including LB 829 (Refundable Income Tax Credit equal to 50 percent of property taxes paid), LB 1103 (funding for basic education to rural school districts), LB 1084 (comprehensive reform, new revenues to offset property tax reductions), and LB 947 (Refundable Income Tax Credit equal to 20 percent of property taxes paid over time).

As the legislative days waned, Nebraska Farm Bureau ultimately pushed for passage of LB 947. It was the only bill reported out of committee and available for floor debate with limited days remaining, while still providing significant tax relief over time. Subsequently, LB 1103 also advanced to the floor. Leading into the final week where senators could still act to provide relief, Farm Bureau encouraged senators to work together to gather enough votes to ensure there was some relief this session.
Ultimately, senators were unable to arrive at the 33 votes needed to overcome a filibuster. The lack of traction led to it being passed over by the Speaker, effectively ending property tax relief efforts for the year.

To say we’re extremely disappointed the Legislature failed to act on property taxes is an understatement. We’ve always said our preference is a legislative solution to the property tax issue. While disappointed, we’re not deterred. Nebraska Farm Bureau has fully supported the “Yes to Property Tax Relief” ballot measure where signatures are being gathered and momentum is building. While this legislative session has ended, nothing has changed regarding Farm Bureau’s support for the ballot measure.

I’ve said before, nothing worth having, comes easy. Providing property tax relief and addressing our state’s overreliance on property taxes won’t either. Rest assured, we at the Nebraska Farm Bureau will continue to push for property tax relief through every viable means.

In closing, I want to thank every one of you who took the time to let their senator know that property tax relief was a priority to them this session. This is a contact sport. We’ve got more work to do. I thank those who’ve taken that message to heart.

Until next time,

Steve Nelson