Senators talk property tax and school funding bills

Senator Ben Hansen presented two bills that he says would cut property taxes and help fund Nebraska's schools.
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Senator Ben Hansen presented two bills that he says would cut property taxes and help fund Nebraska’s schools.

“As this committee knows, the state committee is not picking up its share of the tab and local taxpayers are suffering for it,” said Hansen. “This bill provides over 640 million in state aid to school through a fair and responsible delivery system where the money follows the student.”

LB 1212 and 1213 work together. 1212 would reform the state tax code and provide transparency to people about tax requests.
1213 changes how Nebraska funds the K–12 public schools.
Hanson says the bills would reduce the state sales tax rate, eliminate sales tax exemptions and reduce income tax rates.

“Tax reform would reduce the rates and spending and truly keep more of the taxpayer money in their own pockets instead of in the pockets of our government. our current school funding formula has been another driver for our taxing issues in the state and we’re encouraged by senator Hansen’s efforts,” said Jessica Shelburn.

Hansen adds the sales tax code that was written in 1967 hurts the sales tax base and needs to be updated to fit the economy.

“Since then, the only major changes to it have been carve outs for sales tax exemptions amplifying and expediting the erosion of our sales tax base which is placing more danger as our economy has changed from being primarily goods-based to service-based,” said Hansen.

But not everyone is for it.
One opponent says 1213 would get rid of inheritance funding which would put more pressure on counties.

“Frankly, what that means is if the inheritance tax is done away with, property taxes will go up because we’ll tell our counties, you need to start building up a reserve and in order to do that, they’re gonna raise their levees.”
Others say a change must come soon.

“I think at some point our governments are going to have to reduce their spending because people are going to be leaving the state and there’s not gonna be anyone to tax anymore,” says Shelburn.

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