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In this week’s column, I would like to discuss LB 720, the ImagiNE Nebraska Act with you a second time. This week, on March 6, the Revenue Committee held the hearing on LB 720. As a reminder, 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 as compared to the Nebraska Advantage Act. LB 720 accelerates 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. Finally, 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.
During the hearing that lasted approximately four and a half hours, the Revenue Committee heard from testimony from the Director of Department of Economic Development, Dave Rippe, Chad Denton on behalf of the State Chamber of Commerce, Walker Zulkowski on behalf of the Nebraska Economic Developers Association, David Brown on behalf of the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce and the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, David Arnold on behalf of Buildertrend and Andy Hunzeker on behalf of Lincoln Industries, all of whom argued feverously that LB 720 is a critical piece of legislation that our state needs in order to grow the state.
The Revenue Committee also received letters expressing their support of the legislation from the City of Lincoln, the North Platte Area Chamber & Development, Advanced Power Alliance, Novozymes, Great Plains Communication, Omaha Public Power District, the United Cities of Sarpy County, First Five Nebraska, and the Nebraska Public Power District.
I completely agree with those who expressed support, both in person and via letter. LB 720 is a critical piece of legislation for our state. I am very passionate and am on record in finding ways to lower Nebraska’s already high property and income tax burden but I also believe 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 to recruit new industry to our state, I believe we will hurt the opportunities of our children and our grandchildren.
I am not alone in this effort. I am thankful for all of those who testified in support of growing Nebraska. I am honored that 21 of my colleagues from all corners of the state and of all political persuasions have cosponsored the ImagiNE Nebraska Act 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.