Governor Pete Ricketts Thursday was rallying support for L.B. 461 prior to debate beginning Friday on the major tax reform measure.
Ricketts says the measure will provide immediate income tax relief over the next couple of years includes guaranteed tax relief for middle and low income taxpayers through an increase in the earned income tax credit for low income residents and additional tax credits for couples making under $24,000 in federally adjusted income and $14,000 for singles.
But Renee Fry with the Open Sky Institute says the measure helps more wealthy Nebraskans than average Joes. She says their analysis shows that 79% of the tax cuts goes to the wealthiest 20% of Nebraskans and is not a middle class tax relief package.
Ricketts is also pushing the property tax relief component including a change in the way ag land is valued to an income-based approach rather than market based. He says that would have provided $47 million in property tax relief this year if it was in effect.
But Fry says she is concerned about a provision that would have ag land assessed at 55-65% of its market value, which she claims would prompt a tax shift to middle-class residential and commercial taxpayers .
Debate on L.B. 461, which also has a property tax relief component, is scheduled to begin Friday.