BEATRICE – Nebraska lawmakers were debating a bill on the floor Tuesday that illustrates the urban-rural differences on the property tax debate.
Senator Tom Briese’s bill, under a proposed amendment, would value agriculture land at 30% of its actual value, for the purposes of paying off school bond issues and interest.
Senator Sue Crawford urged caution advancing LB 183.
:27 “with thirty percent”
Senator Bruce Bostelman says he’s glad to see legislators discussing the impact of property taxes. He says a lot of farmers in his district have seen property taxes in the past ten years increase, 150-to-200 percent.
:27 “wholesale cost”
Senator Carol Blood described Briese’s bill to reduce ag land valuation for bond issues a targeted approach, when what is needed, is something more comprehensive.
:12 “not there, yet”
Briese told colleagues setting aside his measure is not an option, for him. He said he’s willing to consider changing the 30% figure but wants his colleagues to advance the bill. He reminded lawmakers how difficult it has been over the years, to achieve comprehensive property tax reform.
:18 “the way of the solution”
Senator Steve Lathrop feels the bill is an attempt to manage a big problem, with a smaller solution. He says Nebraska got into the difficulty it now has, by giving away its tax base.
:25 “public education”
On Thursday, the Leigslature’s Revenue Committee will hold public hearings on more comprehensive tax restructuring solutions.