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Nebraska’s current program to incent employers to locate or expand in Nebraska will expire in 2020. With a record of bringing over 850 business expansions to our state, 100,000 new jobs and $30 billion in capital investment since 1987, Nebraska cannot afford to be without a program. We must keep our “open for business” sign illuminated.
That’s why I and 20 colleagues are sponsoring LB720, the ImagiNE Nebraska Act. The bill certainly builds on the success of past incentive programs and modernizes the system to meet the state’s evolving needs for the next 10 years.
LB 720 was based on an in-depth study for the Legislature’s Economic Development Taskforce, with collaboration among frontline economic developers, the Departments of Revenue and Economic Development and chambers of commerce across the state. The study identified four principles that must be addressed in the next update to Nebraska’s economic incentives program: simplicity, transparency, integrity and competitiveness.
The ImagiNE Nebraska Act brings these additional tools to help grow our economy and our communities.
One of the most important elements of previous programs will continue – ImagiNE Nebraska will remain “pay-for-performance” program, meaning no tax credits until jobs are created or investments are made.
Having sat across from CEO’s working to woo them to Seward County, I know ImagiNE Nebraska will give our economic development professionals across the state better tools to close a deal.
At a time in Nebraska when 63 of Nebraska’s 93 counties saw population loss between 2010 and 2016, when the increasing cost of state services is overburdening our residents with taxes, we must not cut back on our work to grow our economy, grow jobs and grow our population. I look forward to discussing this priority with my colleagues on the floor of the Unicameral next week.