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The Department of Revenue recently released a report showing that over the last year, the State of Nebraska has provided a record-setting $2.2 billion in property tax relief and state aid to local governments.
When I was first elected to the Legislature in 2016, the state was providing $204 million in property tax relief to residents of Nebraska. Since then, we have been able to increase the aid to $275 million in 2019. Through LB1107, which was passed in August, the amount of property tax relief from the state will rise to $650 million by 2025. This means in the four years that I have been in the legislature, we have nearly tripled the amount of property tax relief for all Nebraskans. We have also increased the amount of state aid to schools by $80 million to offset increases in property tax levies.
Recent economic reports continue to reinforce the fact that Nebraskans are steadily recovering from the effects of COVID-19. The September 2020 general fund receipts show that our economy continues to outpace the certified forecast estimated by the Economic Forecasting Advisory Board. The receipts from September indicate that net receipts totaled $527 million, which was 3.2% higher than the forecast. For fiscal year 2020-2021, the net general funds receipts were $1.646 billion which is 5.4% above the forecast. This information, paired with a low 4% unemployment rate continues to indicate a bright future for Nebraska economically.
District 23 received a total of $6,598,703 of federal CARES Act funds disbursed to 497 entities. Those receiving funds include 237 livestock producers, receiving the $12,000 Livestock Producers Small Business Stabilization Grant and 240 small businesses. In total these small businesses received $2,880,000 in aid through the Small Business Stabilization Grant.
Windstream Nebraska, Inc. recently received a $1,275,000 grant through the Remote Access Rural Broadband Program to expand access to broadband in rural Ashland. The grant improves broadband service in underserved areas of the state by targeting areas that lack high-speed internet based on the Federal Communications Commission’s standards of 25 Mbp/s download, and 3 Mbp/s upload speeds. This is very good news, and I will continue to work on expanding broadband access across Nebraska.
The Nebraska’s COVID-19 website, coronavirus.nebraska.gov has been updated. The website now contains the Coronavirus Relief Fund Dashboard with information regarding how Nebraska has utilized federal funds received under the CARES Act. The dashboard shows who received the funding, and can be sorted by program, grant name, city, county, and Congressional or Legislative District.
Areas of the state are seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases and I want to remind everyone to continue to take necessary precautions to protect yourself and those around you. It is important for those that are sick to stay home, wear a mask when appropriate, wash your hands regularly and maintain proper social distancing.
I appreciate hearing from constituents on issues affecting District 23 and encourage you to contact my office on legislation at 402-471-2719 or email@example.com.
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