Lincoln weighs in on state tax system - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

Lincoln weighs in on state tax system

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By: Brittany Paris
bparis@klkntv.com

The Capitol was packed with people on Friday, all waiting for their chance to tell state senators where Nebraska's money should go.

The state's website says Nebraska's taxes are higher than most states.

The tax modernization committee was created to study the state's tax system, mace recommendations, and if necessary, changes.

The committee has held five public hearings, the last one was Friday in Lincoln.

More than 100 people showed up, bringing with them a lot of ideas. One of the big issues was education.

"Education is related to income not property ownership," former Senator, George "Bill" Burrows, said.

Right now, education is funded through property tax, but some people say it should be income tax.

"A sound policy for the state of Nebraska should be that income taxes be an important part of generating the revenue to provide state aid to education," Dave Welsch, Milford, said.

Another group represented was the Disabled American Veterans.

They say they're struggling to pay Nebraska's high taxes.

"Nebraska should join other states in eliminating property taxes on these severely disabled veterans homes," a representative said.

And out of the five stops the group of lawmakers made, a former teacher in Lincoln was the only one to offer the committee a solution.

He calls it the Round Up Proposal. Transactions would be rounded up to the nearest 5, 10, 25, or 50 cent.

"This proposal would raise between $780,000 and $18 million," Andrew Schultz, a former shop teacher, said.

Schultz says he knows this doesn't solve every problem, but it would be a contribution.

The committee is now going to take all of these suggestions and decide if any changes to the state's tax system need to be made.

They'll release a report in mid-December. The Senate is back in session in January.

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