LINCOLN – Governor Pete Ricketts is touting two tax relief packages this week.
The Governor testified in favor of two bills in the Nebraska Legislature that were proposed on his behalf. One of the bills, LB 338, would base ag land property valuations on the income that the land could potentially produce as opposed to sale prices for land.
Gov. Ricketts said in an interview with News Channel Nebraska that the move would ease the burden on Nebraska farmers. He also acknowledged that the drop in revenue could be a burden to some already financially-strapped rural counties.
“That’s one of the reasons we want to implement this in January of 2019,” Ricketts said. “Of course, the state doesn’t collect property taxes. That’s collected by the local entities. We want to make sure they have plenty of time to adjust to what’s going to happen with their budget.”
Ricketts also testified in favor of LB 337, which would cut Nebraska’s top individual income tax rate from 6.84 percent to 5.99 percent in eight steps.
The cuts would be triggered when projections of state revenue growth exceed 3.5 percent. Ricketts said that can be risky proposition if revenues fall short of their forecast, but says Nebraska’s budget is designed to handle that.
“There was a case where revenues were forecast to go up 3.5% in the Great Recession and then they fell below that,” Ricketts said. “We would have to manage that within our budget. But there were far more cases in which the revenue forecast was not 3.5% and in fact in five cases over the same time frame where revenues actually grew more than 3.5%”
In addition to the hearings in the Legislature this week, Ricketts has also been visiting various communities around Nebraska this week, touting his tax plans.
Hear Eric McKay’s full interview with Gov. Ricketts below: