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Tim Gragert

Sen. Tim Gragert

District 40

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The One Hundred Seventh Legislature, Second Session, has adjourned sine die. The last day was filled with last minute items, the governor’s closing speech, and ceremonial procedures. The thirteen senators that won’t be back in January, either due to term limits or deciding not to seek a second term, were recognized. Although I won’t be running for another term, I will miss my colleagues and am thankful for being given the chance to serve with them in representing the State of Nebraska.

When I ran for office, my priorities were property tax relief, helping veterans, pro-life issues, and water quality. I believe that healthy soil is directly related to the quality of water. During my first year in office, I sponsored legislation that created the Healthy Soils Task Force. Among the recommendations from the task force, was the creation of a producer learning community (PLC). This was accomplished through LB 925, a bill I introduced this year. The PLC is an agricultural producer-led nonprofit voluntary organization dedicated to fostering the learning and sharing of knowledge related to the protection and improvement of soil and water quality.

In 2019, I was a co-sponsor of LB 209, which updated abortion informed consent statutes to include information on the abortion pill reversal process. In 2020, I co-sponsored LB 814, which prohibited dismemberment abortion. Both of these bills passed. This year, I was a co-sponsor of both LB 781, which would make abortions illegal if a fetal heartbeat is detectable, and LB 933, which would ban abortions in Nebraska if Roe vs. Wade is overturned this summer by the U.S. Supreme Court. Unfortunately, neither of these bills became law.

As a veteran who served for 40 years and by the grace of God avoided serious injury, I wanted to help those who were less fortunate. In 2020, I sponsored legislation to provide disabled veterans with free lifetime state park permits. I co-sponsored legislation that initially excluded 50% of military retirement benefits from state income tax and later offered a full exemption. Last year, I introduced legislation to prohibit an insurance company from adding a surcharge or increasing premiums for a member of the armed forces if they choose to discontinue their motor vehicle insurance coverage while they are deployed. This year, I introduced a bill to remove the 10-year limitation on access to state tuition assistance for members of the Nebraska National Guard.

In 2020, the Legislature passed LB 1107 which provided for a statutory minimum of $275 million annually for the Property Tax Credit program (shown on your property tax statement). The legislation also created a new refundable income tax credit based on the amount of school district property taxes paid. The annual funding began at $125 million increasing to $375 million by tax year 2024. This year, with the passage of LB 873, the refundable income tax credit will increase to $548 million for the 2022 tax year and $560.7 million next year, significantly higher amounts than anticipated just a couple years ago. Furthermore, a new refundable income tax credit for property taxes paid to community colleges was also implemented, beginning with an appropriation of $50 million this year and increasing to $195 million by 2026. The Property Tax Credit program has since grown to $313 million for tax year 2022. Therefore, property tax relief from these two programs will soon top $1 billion annually.

It has been an honor to serve the constituents of Legislative District #40. I welcomed your input and listened to what you had to say, while holding firm to the values and beliefs that I ran on. I have met so many wonderful people in the district and have learned a great deal from you. The past four years have been an extremely valuable experience and for that I thank you.

I would also like to thank the local papers who publish this column during the legislative session. This helps keep the constituents of the 40th legislative district informed on what is happening in Lincoln.

Even though the legislative session has ended and I will be home in Creighton the majority of the time, I will still travel to my State Capitol office periodically and my staff will be there full-time. If you need assistance with state issues, I can be reached at District #40, P.O. Box 94604, State Capitol, Lincoln, NE 68509. My e-mail address is tgragert@leg.ne.gov and my telephone number is (402) 471-2801.

Sen. Tim Gragert

District 40
Room 11th Floor
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
(402) 471-2801
Email: tgragert@leg.ne.gov
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