Fairbury Schools Question Legislature’s Tax Proposals

FAIRBURY – The Fairbury Public Schools Board of Education took issue with the tax proposals being debated in the Nebraska Legislature during their meeting Monday night.

The board signed on to a resolution supported by Nebraskans United for Property Tax Reform, a coalition of various groups across the state including taxpayers, farmers, ranchers, school districts and the Farm Bureau and Nebraska Farmer’s Union.

The resolution, which Board President Vickie Banahan read aloud, declares that state government is too reliant on property taxes to fund services, including K-12 education.

:44     “…all Nebraska taxpayers.”

Superintendent Stephen Grizzle expressed concerns about all three proposals before the Legislature. He said LB640 could potentially give Fairbury more state aid, but described the mechanism for it as “troublesome”.

:56     “…have in place.”

Fairbury currently receives no state aid, with property taxes making up more than 80 percent of the district’s revenue. Grizzle said that while the proposal would increase state aid, the district would actually lose money because its maximum levy would be decreased.

:20     “…facility improvement projects.”

Grizzle went on to call LB640 a “shell game”. He likewise expressed concerns about LB409, which would slow the growth of state aid to schools in an effort to help close the state’s budget shortfall.

:29     “…across the state.”

Finally, Grizzle expressed frustration at the proposal by Gov. Pete Ricketts to cut income taxes for the wealthiest Nebraskans.

:41     “…in right now.”

The board unanimously approved the resolution, which they will sign and forward to Gov. Ricketts and the Legislature.

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