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In last week’s column, I highlighted one of my priority bills for this upcoming session, LB 205 – Adopt the Surgical Technologist Registration Act. Today, I want to bring your attention to another major priority of mine and of my colleagues. As you may know, the Nebraska Advantage Act, the State’s largest economic incentive program, is set to expire in 2020. If we allow the Nebraska Advantage Act to expire without a replacement, Nebraska will be the only state in the nation without a comprehensive economic development package to create higher paying jobs and to provide for more investment from companies within and outside of the state.
Before the legislative session began, representatives from the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce, Omaha Chamber of Commerce, and the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce approached me to introduce what would become LB 720 – Adopt the ImagiNE Nebraska Act. I happily accepted the opportunity to carry this critical piece of legislation.
LB 720 will increase the value of the incentive program to the Nebraska tax payer through better investments, better jobs, more robust reporting and more overall transparency. LB 720 will accelerate the value of the tax credit by simplifying the process, will increase the competitiveness of the program by increasing the Net Present Value of tax credits, thus helping Nebraska to win more projects and other opportunities for our state. LB 720 will allow the State to build stronger relationships with businesses in order to encourage greater levels of investment and will allow the Department of Economic Development to better understand the needs of businesses and the evolution of business thinking in real time.
LB 720 is a critical piece of legislation. I am very passionate in finding ways to lower Nebraska’s already high tax burden. If we cannot provide a competitive package to attract businesses to invest or to even relocate to Nebraska, there will be no money available for any type of tax relief and there will be less money for education. If we, as a state, do not provide business incentives I believe we will hurt the opportunities of our children and our grandchildren. Due to the national and global competition for talent and well-paying jobs, hard times will fall upon this state if we do not find ways to grow our population and diversify the State’s economy.
While I introduced the legislation, I am not alone in this effort. I am honored that 22 of my colleagues from all corners of the state and of all political persuasions have cosponsored LB 720 to ensure our state’s economic future in this ever changing global environment. Having incentives to help grow our tax base is critical for our children’s future, for tax relief, and for job opportunities down the road.
As always, if we can be of assistance to you in any way, please do not hesitate to contact my office. My door is open and I have made it a goal to be accessible to the constituents of our district. Please stop by any time. My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org, and the office phone number is 402-471-2756. Tyler and Katie are always available to assist you with your needs. If I am not immediately available, please do not hesitate to work with them to address any issues that you may need assistance. Please continue to follow me on Facebook at Kolterman for Legislature and on Twitter at @KoltermanforLegislature.