Two days after a bill supported by Governor Pete Ricketts and Revenue Committee Chairman, Jim Smith failed to garner the necessary 33 votes for cloture; Senator Bob Krist introduced proposal yesterday that would provide increased property tax relief.
Senator Krist opposed the Ricketts/Smith bill because like many, it didn’t provide necessary property tax relief and favored income tax cuts for the wealthiest of Nebraskans. Like many Senators mentioned during Tuesday’s debate, very few, if any Nebraskans are asking for income tax cuts, but an overwhelming majority will tell you that the top priority for the Nebraska Legislature is to pass meaningful property tax reform.
Senator Krist’s amendment would have provided $75 million of additional revenue to the Property Tax Credit Fund this year. That is more relief than was provided by the Ricketts/Smith proposal, would provide relief for all classes of property tax payers, and is a step in the right direction.
While this proposal will not solve the problem and does not come close to what is ultimately needed to provide property tax reform, it is a good proposal that will provide Nebraska home, business, and agricultural property owners increased relief. LB461 failed because it had misplaced priorities. Senator Krist’s proposal would be a good way to salvage something during the current legislative session.