Property Tax Relief package announced
By: KLKN Newsroom
Today, Governor Pete Ricketts, Revenue Committee Chairman Mike Gloor, and Education Committee Chairwoman Kate Sullivan announced a joint property tax relief package. The tax relief package will be one of the Governor’s legislative initiatives for the 2016 legislative session.
“As I travel the state, our property tax burden is the number one issue Nebraskans voice concerns about,” said Governor Ricketts. “Last year, we provided direct property tax relief to Nebraska taxpayers through the Property Tax Credit Relief Fund, however, we can and must do more. Property tax relief is my number one priority this session. This new legislation’s focus on structural property tax relief encourages fiscal accountability in local government. I am grateful to Chairman Gloor and Chairwoman Sullivan for their work in collaborating with my office on this initiative, which delivers much-needed property tax relief for Nebraskans.”
Last year, the Legislature adopted the Governor’s proposal to provide $408 million in direct dollar-for-dollar property tax relief over two years through the Property Tax Credit Relief Fund. This is a 45 percent increase over previous budgets.
At a meeting at the State Fair in August, the Governor and Committee Chairs began working together on property tax reform. The package includes a bill that will be introduced by Chairman Gloor to change revenue policy, while Chairwoman Sullivan will introduce a bill focused on measured growth in school spending and state aid.
This two-bill package makes structural changes to how property taxes are levied on residential, commercial, and agricultural property. Together, the proposals:
- Tighten current spending limits on all local governments.
- Tighten current levy limits on all local governments by removing exceptions that do not require voter approval.
- Control growth within the school funding formula.
- Limit the statewide aggregate increase in the class of agricultural property to 3 percent per year by adjusting the value of agricultural and horticultural land.
Over the interim, the Revenue and Education Committees held a series of joint meetings and a public hearing to solicit input on property tax reform and education funding changes from Nebraskans. Additionally, Governor Ricketts held over 20 town halls across the state, and property tax relief was the number one issue Nebraskans raised.
“Nebraskans are clear we must prioritize property tax relief this session,” said Chairman Gloor. “This package builds on the Legislature’s work from recent years and the Governor’s work from last year. Our efforts have been a collaborative process, and I appreciate the opportunity to work with the Governor’s Office on this key priority.”
“This property tax package emphasizes the relationship between local governing boards and the taxpaying citizens they serve,” said Chairwoman Sullivan. “Accountability is key to strengthening that relationship. I appreciate the Governor’s efforts to work with me on this important issue.”
Chairman Gloor and Chairwoman Sullivan anticipate introducing their bills following the Governor’s State of the State address on Thursday, January 14, 2016 at 10:00am.