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Property Tax Relief & Business Incentives: Grand Compromise Ahead?
There are now less than a dozen days left in the 2020 legislative session. It has become abundantly clear during the last week of debate that compromise will be the only path to success for big-ticket items of this session.
On Wednesday, July 22nd, the property tax relief bill (LB 1106) was debated for the maximum time allowed and now most show support from 33 of Nebraska’s 49 senators to return for a vote.
The new business incentives bill (LB 720) was also debated on Wednesday. The current incentives program, Nebraska Advantage Act, sunsets this year, leaving our state without a business incentives program unless a replacement is passed in this session. Many of you have contacted my office expressing your concerns with passing a corporate incentive bill before property tax relief. You can rest assured that I will not vote for LB 720 before property tax relief is achieved with LB 1106.
Neither LB 1106 or LB 720 has the votes to advance as standalone bills. Rural senators, including me, have stood firmly in support of property tax relief. Urban senators have leaned in favor of business incentives. Neither side has the 33 votes necessary to break the stalemate. We must form a compromise, which may include combining LB 1106 and LB 720. Whatever compromise is brokered will likely be debated in the coming week. I’m standing strong for property tax relief with my fellow rural senators.
Tensions have been high on the floor of the Legislature. You may have heard that Senator Chambers threw me into the mix by speaking about raping and enslaving me during debate on Monday. Those comments have done nothing to distract me from my priorities of property tax relief, better rural internet access and roads, and COVID-19 and flood recovery.
There are 12 days of session left. A new poll indicates 77% of Nebraskans support the current property tax relief bill, LB 1106. Outside “noise” of feuds and bickering in the Legislature are just that: noise distracting from the true task at hand.
If Chambers wants to go after me, it doesn’t matter. There’s no amount of hateful language he can use that will distract me from serving District 1.
Commodity prices are low and property taxes are at record highs. Words spouted on the floor don’t get me fired up, but 40 years of failed tax policy do.
Passing LB 1106 would be a strong step to easing the burden on our property taxpayers and improving funding for our rural schools.
Enough talk. Enough noise. Let’s get this done.
As always, I welcome your input on issues important to you. Follow along on my Facebook and Twitter pages, both entitled “Senator Julie Slama” for more updates, or contact me directly at Senator Julie Slama, District 1 State Capitol, PO Box 94604, Lincoln, NE 68509-4604; telephone 402-471-2733; email: firstname.lastname@example.org .