Governor expects ‘historic’ property tax reduction for Nebraskans

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – Gov. Pete Ricketts introduced Tuesday that this price range cycle will present vital quantities of property tax reduction for Nebraskans.

Ricketts says addressing property tax reduction has all the time been a primary precedence.

Nebraska’s governor labored with Legislature from 2015 to 2019 to just about double the Property Tax Credit score Aid Fund per 12 months. In 2020, they labored once more to move LB 1107, a landmark property tax reduction invoice that created a refundable property tax credit score in a position to be claimed for the primary time. Moreover, Ricketts stated, the 2021 session mainline price range invoice additional elevated the Property Tax Credit score Aid Fund to $313 million yearly.

In the course of the Legislature’s 2021 common session, Senators and Ricketts restricted spending progress to 2.4% for the present two-year price range. The 4 biennial budgets Ricketts and others have developed have a median annual progress fee of lower than 2.5%.

Nebraska has additionally continued to see fast progress whereas retaining spending in test. State revenues grew 19.2% past projections previously fiscal 12 months and so they’re exceeding expectations once more this 12 months.

Ricketts says that is vital as a result of the Refundable Earnings Tax Credit score created in LB 1107 is ready to develop as tax revenues exceed expectations. Final 12 months’s credit score was value $125 million, offsetting 6% of native college property taxes. This 12 months’s credit score will bounce to $548 million, offsetting 25.3% of native college property taxes. Ricketts says taxpayers will obtain this credit score once they file their state earnings taxes in 2022.

By controlling spending and rising Nebraska, Ricketts says, Nebraskans will see over $1.9 billion of direct property tax reduction and over $2 billion of estimated whole tax reduction over the subsequent two years. Due to this, tax reduction is predicted to signify practically 20% of the State’s total common fund price range for the present two-year price range.

Along with property tax reduction, Ricketts and different lawmakers agreed upon numerous different vital tax measures in 2021:

  • Veterans Tax Aid, an exemption for 100% of army retirement advantages from state earnings taxation.
  • Social Safety Tax Aid, an exemption for 50% of Social Safety earnings that might be phased in over time.
  • Ag Land Valuations Discount, lowering Ag land valuations from 75% of market worth to 50% of market worth for the needs of property taxes for bond points – lowering the tax burden on farmers and ranchers.
  • Water Tax Exemption, an exemption for residential water service from tax gross sales.
  • Fact in Taxation, laws handed “Fact in Taxation” laws requiring native governments to inform taxpayers every time their property taxes are scheduled to extend by greater than 2%.
  • Job Creator Tax Aid, started the method to align taxes on job creator earnings with that of taxes on particular person earnings.

Whereas these are encouraging indicators, Ricketts says there’s nonetheless extra work to do in ensuring state progress advantages go to Nebraska households as a substitute of native governments. Native authorities property taxes have elevated 4.3% per 12 months over the previous decade in Nebraska, that’s a 51.8% enhance over 10 years whereas earnings grew 48% and inflation simply 18.7% through the previous decade.

Ricketts can be cautious of native governments decreasing their levy charges to regulate for property valuation will increase. Ricketts says {that a} year-over-year bounce in property valuation means taxpayers see their property tax payments go up considerably, even when levy charges stay unchanged.

Earlier this 12 months, Senator Tom Briese proposed LB 408 to cap the annual progress of native authorities property taxes at 3%.  A restrict like this may defend Nebraskans from seeing their tax payments go up quicker than their household budgets can afford. Underneath LB 408, native governments would retain authority to override the three% restrict with voter approval. The override course of supplies flexibility however can also empower voters to dam tax hikes.

Lawmakers had been 4 votes in need of advancing LB 408 final spring. Ricketts says Nebraskans want to interact within the legislative course of to be able to win help for extra tax reduction.

“We’ve traditionally low unemployment and robust progress in Nebraska, and the State is delivering file quantities of tax reduction.  However there’s nonetheless extra to do.  We should management spending on the native degree to maintain taxes low.  We have to develop our workforce to fill the great-paying jobs we’re creating.  And we’ve to advertise Nebraska globally to open new markets and appeal to worldwide funding,” wrote Ricketts in Tuesday’s press launch.

Copyright 2021 WOWT. All rights reserved.

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