The New Year is upon us, HAPPY NEW YEAR, and with that being said, the new legislative session will have begun by the time this hits your local paper. We will be back in Lincoln on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 so get a firm grip on your billfold. Actually, there is a little extra money in the treasury as Nebraska starts its Second Session of the 103rd Legislature. The question that will arise is “What to do with the bounty that the taxpayers have made available to the State”?
There are a number of Senators who with good intentions believe still more should be given to those among us who are struggling. There are also those who think we should spend the extra dollars that we are blessed with on education. There are many who think we should use it to start more and more government programs. There are those who think we should give several million to Games & Parks for maintenance and repairs to our park system. There is no end to the “good” these folks would like to do with your money.
There are also a few of us who think that a good portion of that money should be returned to the hard-working folks in Nebraska who have paid into our system. While we in Nebraska enjoy what we like to call “The Good Life”, there can be no doubt that we, as a state, are over-taxed as well as over-regulated.
I am very hopeful that we may see some relief to the property tax burden placed on our farmers, business owners and homeowners. I am not yet sure just what form it will take, but I do think we will see some improvement. I also believe there is a fair chance of finally removing the sales tax on farm machinery repair parts that has caused our implement dealers to be at a disadvantage to dealers in surrounding states. I will be working toward these changes as well as trying to raise the ceiling at which our highest rate of income tax payment kicks in. Nebraskans with incomes well under $30,000 are currently paying at the highest rate. I just do not think that is fair to our middle class taxpayers. Thirty-thousand dollars does not make you a rich man in today’s world.
I know you do not like paying taxes any more than I do, but are you watching close enough to know how your money is being spent? Most property tax is used to fund education. When was the last time you attended a school board meeting? A lot of money is spent on county roads. Have you ever attended a county commissioner meeting?
Throughout government, federal, state, county, city and municipalities, school boards, NRD boards and other unnamed boards and committees spend your tax dollars. You as taxpayers should hold all of us accountable. You cannot do that by sitting home and complaining. You must get involved. Where you see local waste, tell your local official that you are tired of it. Where you see corruption, fight it, report it, take it to the media if necessary. If you see illegal activities report them to the proper authorities. That does not make you a “tattle tale” it makes you a law-abiding responsible citizen. If as citizens we do not control government, government will most certainly control us.