By: Jenn Schanz
The second day of Nebraska's 60–day Legislative session focused heavily on taxes.
Senator Jeremy Nordquist is pushing for a property tax bill aimed at the middle class. He says he wants to steer away from the kind of tax relief proposed by Gov. Heinemen last year. It didn't make it past committee, but it basically centered around income taxes.
"The large benefit of that is for people like Warren Buffet and Pete Rickets, and that's not the direction we need to be going in Nebraska," he says.
Nordquist wants to reduce property taxes for homeowners, by taxing them on 95 percent of their property value, instead of 100 percent.
"There's been a lot of discussion around agriculture property tax relief. But property owners, residential property owners in south Omaha, in Lincoln and in Scottsbluff also need property tax relief, so that's where we should be focusing," says Nordquist.
Senator Kate Bolz introduced a child care bill, also focused on helping middle class families.
"I wanted a piece of legislation that reduced the tax burden specifically for middle class working families, and particularly for a cost that would be a fixed cost," she says.
Nebraskan families can currently claim 25 percent of child care costs on their taxes. If passed, the child care bill would up that up to 28 percent, saving the average Nebraskan family around $200 a year.
Aside from tax relief, safe driving initiatives, reforming the prison system, and Medicaid expansion are expected to be hot topics this session.