Farm Bureau Focusing on Property Tax Reform During Remaining Legislative Session

PIERCE, NE — The Nebraska Farm Bureau is seeking a balance in the state tax structure.

The legislative session is over two-thirds complete and Farm Bureau VP of Governmental Relations Bruce Rieker says it will be a wild finish because the body has to finalize a budget that erases a $1 billion shortfall.

“So there will be a lot of (budget considerations) is going to be taking place,” Rieker said. “At the same time, there are income tax bills and there are property tax bills that are all vying for the attention and support of senators.”

The property tax issues are of particular interest to Rieker and are why he was at the White House in Pierce Monday afternoon. The Madison and Pierce County Farm Bureaus sponsored a public forum on property tax concerns attended by about 40 people.

Rieker stressed to the group that Farm Bureau isn’t advocating for increasing taxes.

“We’re not looking to increase the overall tax collection in the state, what we’re seeking is a balance between the three sources,” Rieker said.

The three sources of revenue for the state’s general fund are property, income and sales tax. Farm Bureau would like to lower the percentage of of the fund that comes from property taxes because they disproportionately impact the rural population.

“Our priority is to balance the tax burden between the various payers for all of the government or the priorities our state has,” Rieker said.

Rieker has special interest in three bills that will be heard next week, LBs 640, 409 and 338.

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