Legislature’s Revenue Committee discusses ways to reduce property taxes in Nebraska

On Monday, the Nebraska State Legislature’s Revenue Committee met for three hours to discuss possible action lawmakers can take to lower taxes for Nebraskans.

Over the past decade, taxes have continued to climb in the state.

Lou Ann Linehan, the chairman of the committee, says it’s causing some to consider moving to another state.

“People are going to move if they don’t have a reason to live here besides grandchildren, thank goodness for grandchildren, they’re not going to be able to afford to live here so we have to address this because it will affect the state’s long term economic viability,” said Linehan.

Linehan says high property taxes in particular, has created a headache for farmers, business and homeowners alike.

She says in the past, some quick fixes or band aids were tried to help things.

But Linehan wants something more long term, and says it will take some time to do this right.

“What we’re really trying to do here is re-do Nebraska’s tax code,” said Linehan.

Over the past decade, Linehan says Nebraska’s government spending has been too high.

She hopes the committee can find a way to lower it.

“We can’t have public institutions, whether it’s the state, or the county, or the city, we can’t have them spending more money than income is going up, and that’s what has been happening ever since the recession of 2009,” said Linehan.

Blueprint Nebraska is working on a state tax study due to arrive in the summer of 2020.

Linehan says it’s going to take a team effort from everyone to make property tax relief a reality for Nebraskans.

“Working with the governor, working with all the other senators, and working with our other leaders across the state, mayors, county board members, school board members, everybody is going to have to buckle down and figure out, how can I help?”

Senator Linehan said the discussions this morning we’re productive.

The next meeting will be taking a closer look at tax incentive packages offered by state law.

And after that comes a meeting to discuss property evaluations.

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