Governor talks tax relief during State of the State Address - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

Governor talks tax relief during State of the State Address

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Posted By:  Jenn Schanz

Nebraska's senators took a break from talking bills for Gov. Heineman's State of the State Address Wednesday.

The governor spoke out against Medicaid expansion and the Good Time Law, but taxes were at the center of his agenda.

"Nebraska's high income tax rates are among the highest in America. And higher than all of our neighboring states expect one. Lowering Nebraska's income tax rates are essential," he says.

He says with the state's record cash reserve, it can afford $500 million in tax relief.

Aside from lowering income taxes, the governor supports the Farm Bureau's proposal to lower agricultural land valuations from 75 to 65 percent.

But his tax relief plan isn't without opposition.

"The governor is putting forward a tax proposal that really will not benefit the middle class," says Senator Jeremy Nordquist. 

He put out a statement after the governor's speech, claiming the $500 million dollar tax cut would benefit only the top one percent, and hurt education funding.

He recently proposed a bill that would bring down property taxes by 5 percent.

"If you lower ag land in rural communities, the school districts in the countries have to come up with a way to sustain their operations," says Nordquist. 

Gov. Heineman responds, "I don't know what he's basing his release on. Now, I happen to know what his philosophy is. he believes in higher taxes and more state spending. I disagree with him on that."

I spoke to several people on the street today, only one would go on camera. Larry Ruth of Lincoln agrees with the general consensus. 

"We tend to give more breaks to the wealth and there are many people who need the breaks that don't get them." 

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