Gov. signs tax relief bills, tax committee begins work

Gov. Dave Heineman Monday signed into law several bills that will bring some tax relief to Nebraskans in specific areas. The Governor highlighted tax relief for hard-working middle class families through the elimination of the alternative minimum tax, tax relief for families saving with a Nebraska College Savings Plan by expanding the tax deduction, and tax relief for employees through employee stock ownership changes.

Meanwhile, members of Nebraska's new tax modernization committee have started their work to identify any weaknesses in the state's tax structure.

The 14-member legislative committee met for the first time on Monday to discuss how they will proceed. Sen. Galen Hadley, the committee chairman, says members will travel to five or six different communities in Nebraska to hear public input. Members are planning to look at sales, income and property taxes, and what can be done to stimulate business and population growth.

Hadley says the committee will look at what areas of the tax structure, if any, have fallen out of sync with Nebraska's economy. The last major tax overhaul took place in the 1960s, and some lawmakers question whether it still reflects an economy that now relies more on services.

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