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Last Thursday was the final day to introduce bills for this legislative session. There were still plenty of bills being brought to the legislature up until the last day. We ended up with an additional 469 new bills being introduced, making the total 1136 for the 105th legislative session. Some new bills that were introduced could have a negative impact on southwestern Nebraska. I have already received some calls and emails regarding a couple of these new bills. LB 1021 and LB 1022, are both bills that I will oppose. I would like to give a short explanation of each bill and my opinion on them.
LB 1021 would remove the tax exemption on agricultural machinery and chemicals, as well as, water for irrigation and manufacturing and other agricultural resources. This bill would take away multiple tax exemptions used by farmers each year. One of the main exemptions is water for irrigation and manufacturing. Taking away this exemption would have a direct negative impact on farmers in southwestern Nebraska.
LB 1022 this bill would add a tax to water used for irrigation. Any well used for irrigation that is capable of producing at least five thousand gallons of water per day, would be taxed at one cent for every ten gallons of water pumped. Irrigated land will be valued the same as dry land under this bill. LB 1022 would also create a school aid fund. This fund would consist of irrigation tax revenue credited to the fund and would be administered by the state board of education. The funds shall be used to provide payments to school districts that did not receive equalization aid, under Tax Equity and Educational Opportunities Support Act (TEEOSA). This is an enormous tax increase on farmers, one cent for ten gallons will add up quickly.
LB 762 is a bill I introduced, it would push back the sunset date to apply for grants under the Department of Environmental Quality Scrap Tire Management Program. This has been a very popular program, especially rural areas. Through 2013-2016 there were 22,883.09 tons of tires collected through the scrap tire project. I want to make sure these projects continue. The funds for this comes from a $1 fee collected on the sale of a new tires.
I always enjoy hearing from the Nebraskans I represent. Please feel free to contact my office with any questions or concerns that you might have. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and my phone number is (402) 471-2805.You can read more about bills and other work of the Legislature at www.nebraskalegislature.gov, and you can click on the Live Video Streaming NET logo to watch sessions, hearings, and other Capitol events.