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There is some good news on the horizon for Nebraska. The Nebraska Economic Forecasting Advisory Board met on February 26, 2021 and raised revenue projections for the state. Their projections are what the legislature uses to create our bi-annual budget. The current projections were raised by $204 million to $5.49 billion. This is due to anticipated increases of $65 million in sales and use tax receipts, $40 million in corporate tax receipts, $4 million miscellaneous taxes and $95 million individual income tax receipts. The total projected revenue receipts for FY 2021-2022 were raised to $5.08 billion, which is an increase of $165 million. The following year FY 2022-2023 was increased by $93 million.
Some bills that may be of interest to the 44th legislative district are LB 254 and LB 324. LB 254 was introduced by Matt Williams of Gothenburg, it would extend the sunset date on the Beginning Farmer Tax Credit Act. This act was originally enacted into law on August 28, 1999. We include sunset dates on many acts like this so it makes future legislatures look into an act and determine if it is still accomplishing the original goals, if not they can let the act end or they can make necessary adjustments. The Beginning Farmer Tax Credit Act helps out new farmers or ranchers who plan on farming full time. The costs to get started in farming or ranching is quite substantive and can be a roadblock. The number of farmers have decreased dramatically in the past few decades and this is one tool to help those who would like to live the good life achieve their dream.
LB 324 was introduced by Senator Tom Brandt of Plymouth. This bill would allow meat producers and consumers an easier way to buy packages of meat directly from the processor or producer. It would create the Independent Processor Assistance Program which would increase local processing capacity and expand market access for small producers. Under this bill consumers can enter into agreements with livestock producers and have partial ownership in the animal or herd which would allow them to use the custom exemption under the Federal Meat Inspection Act.
The legislative committees were in high gear this week kicking bills out of committee. One reason why they were so busy is because the deadline to name senator priority bills and committee priority bills was this week. In my next article I will write more about this process and what were some of the more newsworthy bills designated as priorities.
Please feel free to contact my office with any questions or concerns that you might have. My email address is email@example.com and my phone number is (402) 471-2805. My office is in room 2108 at the Capitol if you are in the Lincoln area. 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 the session, hearings, and other Capitol events.