Ricketts Confident Nebraska Can Cut Taxes Despite Shortfall

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts says he’s confident the state can reduce income and property taxes and balance the budget despite an $895 million projected revenue shortfall.

Ricketts is offering few specifics before his annual address to lawmakers, but in an interview with The Associated Press, he says the plan will focus on slowing state spending growth. He also hints that he might call on lawmakers to tap the state’s rainy-day fund.

Lawmakers begin their 2017 session on Wednesday. Legislative leaders say the budget will make it nearly impossible to pass any major spending bills.

Ricketts says he’s willing to discuss changes to his proposals as long as they don’t raise taxes. He says he won’t call for cuts to the Department of Correctional Services, an agency plagued by staffing shortages.

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