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Rita Sanders

Sen. Rita Sanders

District 45

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Newsletter 5/06/2021
May 6th, 2021

I hope your spring has been joyous! While the season definitely has its downsides (my entire office has suffered with allergies for the past month), it brings some wonderful things – like baseball! In the coming weekend, baseball teams from Bellevue East and Bellevue West will compete in district tournaments for a chance to make the state playoffs, those games begin on Friday! I wish the best of luck to these teams.

Meanwhile, the Legislature hit a fastball to the fence with its budget bills. Governor Ricketts signed the new biennium budget into law last Monday! I’d like to congratulate the Fiscal Office, the Appropriations Committee and Appropriations Chair John Stinner for their excellent work. Now, our attention turns to a more daunting pitch…

We have reached the final month of the 107th Legislature’s first session! This year has been unlike any other session in many ways (at least that is what my colleagues tell me). But some things are just like other years. One example is property taxes.

For years, Nebraskans have asked for property tax reform. That has been a key focus of the Legislature this year, and it remains a key focus of mine. For the past four weeks, we have taken many of our debates well into the night. We have discussed proposals such as Senator Briese’s LB 408 that would limit property tax growth to 3% per year, Senator Briese’s LB 2 that would lower the property tax value of agricultural land for bond purposes, Senator Friesen’s LB 454 that would give state dollars to schools too reliant on property taxes, and Senator Ben Hansen’s LB 644 that would require any political body to notify voters of potential levy increases by postcard. This illustrates the fact that many senators have brought forward suggestions to fix the problem.

Some of these suggestions have advanced, and some have not. All of them are only band-aids on an issue that has been likened to an amputation. I enjoyed listening to the debate on Senator Erdman’s LR 11 CA yesterday because it was the kind of outside-the-box thinking that we need, and it is comprehensive tax reform. While I continue to consider my stance on LR 11 CA, what I appreciate most is that we finally discussed a comprehensive fix to our tax issues.

Last Monday, my bill LB 313 advanced on to Select File! LB 313 would allow for late applications for a homestead exemption for those whose spouses have passed away that year. Currently, a property owner may file a late application for a homestead exemption if they provide documentation that a medical condition caused an inability to file on time. This bill would allow that same ability for those whose spouse passed away in the relevant taxable year. Many times, when someone passes away, their spouse is left to pick up the pieces. This includes family finances. This can be extremely difficult for someone who has never handled family budgeting and taxes, and it takes time to not only grieve a loved one, but become proficient in finances.

Current Status of Bills:
LB 312, Passed
LB 313, Select File
LB 368, Passed
LB 369, Passed
LB 370, Referral
LB 389, Passed
LB 619, Referral

Bellevue First
Yesterday, Senator Blood’s LB 9 was signed into law and I am a proud co-sponsor of this legislation. LB 9 allows for the growth and expansion of Bellevue as it changes annexation requirements and property tax special valuation provisions. Previously, annexation had to include adjacent land, making it impossible for cities landlocked by federal property (such as Offutt Air Force Base) or Natural Resources District land in the middle of a potential annexation area. Without this bill, Bellevue would only be able to expand to the south of the base, making it difficult to grow as quickly as surrounding areas such as Papillion or La Vista. This is a sound bill that will help Bellevue grow.

COVID – 19
All statistics as of 7:20 AM on 5/06/2021
Confirmed cases in Sarpy County: 22,002
Active cases in Sarpy County: 207
Deaths in Sarpy County: 124

For more information regarding COVID-19, visit:

Thank you for reading!
Stay safe, and stay healthy!

Sen. Rita Sanders

District 45
Room 2028
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
(402) 471-2615
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