Legislators fail to pass bill limiting Nebraska school property taxes

Sen. Tom Briese's proposal fell 5 votes short from taking it to a first-round vote

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – A proposed bill that would limit Nebraska school property tax increases will not pass this year.

The bill would have allowed schools to increase their property taxes by either 2.5% or the inflation rate, whichever one is greater.  Certain schools with greatly increased enrollment and other special circumstances would have had an exception.  Districts would have to adjust their increase based on revenue they get from other sources as well.  The bill would also give districts the right to override the limits if school boards of voters had a super-majority vote.

The proposal would have needed 33 votes in favor to overcome a filibuster, but the final vote ended at 28-21, which means the bill will not have the chance to pass this year.

Sen. Tom Briese of Albion introduced the bill.  Supporters argue that homeowners and farmers, like Briese, have already seen sharp property tax increases which lawmakers need to act on soon.

Opponents said it took away local control of schools.  They also pointed out that school officials who overspend can be held accountable by voters.

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