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Ricketts warns time is running out to approve property tax relief


With time running short in Nebraska’s 60 day legislative session, Governor Pete Ricketts is urging lawmakers to get busy on property tax relief, something voters have made clear they expect.

Since 2005, ag land property taxes have risen nearly 11 percent annually in Nebraska, and Ricketts says the time has come to provide a palatable fix to the problem.

Ricketts said, “The Legislature needs to work and work now. We cannot dilly-dally any longer.  The legislature needs to get property tax relief to the floor, get it voted on, passed and moved to my desk. So Senator Smith continue to work on. L.B. 947 to get that bill out of committee and get 33 votes on the floor. ”

State Sen. Jim Smith of Papillion, the revenue committee chairman, remains hopeful that continued negotiations will deliver a viable tax plan soon.

Ricketts continues to voice his opposition to Senator Steve Erdman’s proposal to settle the issue with a ballot initiative, which he says would create a “disruption in our state, massive tax increases and is just not the thing to do.”

Ricketts also indicated during a press conference Monday that even with projections now showing an improved revenue picture, lawmakers should use  caution with regard to spending. Ricketts asked the legislature to restore  the post-secondary education cuts that he recommended in his budget. Lawmakers passed the budget during the first round of debate with budget amendments recommended by the Appropriations  Committee that reduced Ricketts’ suggested cuts to higher education

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