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The Legislative Committees have completed the public hearings for the bills introduced this session, and beginning February 27, the Legislature will begin full day debate of bills that have been advanced.
After debate, the Legislature has advanced LB209, introduced by Senator Abbie Cornett of Bellevue. LB209 will allow a delay of a city sales tax refund pursuant to the Nebraska Advantage Act or the Employment and Investment Growth Act and will allow for deduction in equal monthly installments over a period of one year if the refunds exceed 25% or the city’s sales and use tax receipts from the previous year. LB209 is an important bill, which provides cities with planning tools to deal with large tax refunds under our economic development laws. For example, the city of Wakefield has recently had to issue a large tax refund, and if LB209 was in place, this could be paid in monthly installments beginning at a later time to help Wakefield and other cities like it adequately budget for the city’s needs. I strongly support this legislation.
The Legislature also advanced LB830, introduced by Senator Galen Hadley of Kearney, which provides a sales and use tax exemption for biochips, which are used for genotyping, analysis of gene expression, and protein profiling in plants, livestock, pets, and research organisms. Biochips are often considered an agricultural input and are very useful tools in identifying plant and animal diseases. This tax exemption will promote development of this business in Nebraska, align Nebraska with other states in how this type of business is taxed, and be beneficial to agriculture.
Another bill that was extensively debated was LR358CA, introduced by Senator Tom Carlson of Holdredge. If passed by the Legislature, LR358CA would place a question on the upcoming November ballot for voters to decide if Nebraska’s term limit law should be changed. LR358CA amends Article III, section 12, of the Nebraska Constitution, pertaining to term limits for members of our state Unicameral. The amendment would allow members to serve three consecutive four-year terms instead of two consecutive four-year terms. Because it is a proposed constitutional change, voters would make the ultimate determination on the adoption of this provision.
Senator Tyson Larson