Gov. Ricketts Believes Tax Bill Will Bridge Urban-Rural Gap

LINCOLN – Gov. Pete Ricketts believes his tax proposals can bridge the seemingly ever-widening gap between rural and urban lawmakers.

In an interview with News Channel Nebraska, Gov. Ricketts said that by addressing property taxes and income taxes in LB 461, the concerns of all lawmakers are addressed.

“This has the income tax relief that many urban senators are interested in,” the governor said. “This is what really gives us the potential to build that coalition between urban and rural senators, because no one’s taxes are going up. Everyone’s taxes are going down. It’s a way to provide tax relief to all Nebraska families and build that coalition between senators.”

But the division between urban and rural senators has already killed one property tax proposal. Sen. Mike Groene’s property tax bill didn’t garner enough support from urban lawmakers to overcome a filibuster, effectively killing it for this session.

Ricketts says he hopes lawmakers will be able to look beyond what’s best for their specific constituents and focus on what he says would be best for the state.

“I just had a conversation with a county commissioner in Valentine who said this is the most significant property tax relief bill she has seen in her lifetime,” Ricketts said. “This is significant tax relief.”

The package would cut top individual and corporate income tax rates and change how farm and ranch land are valued for property tax purposes.

The first round of debate on LB 461 is set for Friday.