State Lawmaker Says Solving Budget Shortfall May Take Cuts and New Revenue

State Lawmaker Says Solving Budget Shortfall May Take Cuts and New Revenue
30th District Senator Roy Baker

BEATRICE – For Nebraska lawmakers, budget bill passage and the signing of budget cuts by Governor Pete Ricketts this week, means it’s now on to the next two-year cycle.

A nearly $900 million shortfall is facing lawmakers as they piece together the next two-year budget.  The plan signed by Governor Ricketts this week, cuts more than $137 million from the final year of this biennium.

State Senator, Dr. Roy Baker of Lincoln says although the focus has been on budget reductions, there’s also some looking at additional sources of revenue.

:38                  “the tax base”

Baker feels the only way Nebraskans are going to get significant property tax relief is to find other sources of revenue.   He says “we can’t cut our way down, to make it happen”.

:25                  “any tax, ever”

Baker says apart from his colleagues, he has asked constituents what they may want to see on the revenue side, as legislators debate the next two-year plan.

:20                  “sales tax, a bit”

Baker says it’s unknown if the budget shortfall will get better or worse, until the state’s forecasting board issues a new projection.

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