LINCOLN, NE – Nebraska State Senator Heath Mello (District 5, South Omaha) announced plans today to introduce legislation to create a tax amnesty program in Nebraska and provide for greater future enforcement against delinquent taxpayers.
“During my research as a member of the Tax Modernization Committee this summer and fall, I realized that Nebraska is seriously behind other states in enforcing our existing tax laws,” said Mello. “While the committee is continuing to work on significant changes in our tax code to provide property tax relief, we must update our enforcement capabilities to ensure that all of our state tax laws are applied fairly and judiciously.”
Under the proposed legislation, taxpayers with unreported or delinquent taxes could apply to the Nebraska Department of Revenue for amnesty during a three-month period in 2014. If amnesty is granted and all back taxes owed are paid, any penalties and interest on those taxes would be waived and the state would be prohibited from seeking civil or criminal prosecution in amnesty cases. A similar tax amnesty program conducted in 2004 has collected more than $53 million in delinquent tax revenue, and Mello’s legislation provides that revenue collected from the 2014 tax amnesty period would be directed towards property tax relief.
In addition to creating a tax amnesty program, Mello’s legislation would require the Department of Revenue to contract with private vendors to identify non-filers, under-reporters, or non-payers of taxes who have a minimum tax liability of $25,000. While legislation authorizing such contracts was passed in 2011, the Department has made no effort to exercise their authority to do so.
“When tax cheats get away with breaking Nebraska law, it ultimately leads to higher taxes for everyone else,” said Mello. “This legislation begins to even the playing field for taxpayers, all while focusing new revenues towards reducing property taxes.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 6, 2013
For More Information:
Senator Heath Mello, (402) 471-2710