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Last week was a very busy week for me at the Capitol. On Thursday hearings were held on my two property tax relief bills, LB829 and LB899. LB829 is the bill I introduced to fulfill my campaign promise to lower property taxes. LB899 is a bill which pro-rates the property taxes on a destroyed property to the date of its destruction. The hearing on LB829 was the longest one, lasting approximately four hours. It was a long day, but it was well worth it!
I would like to thank everyone who made the long trip to Lincoln to testify at the public hearing on LB829. Several people drove from the Panhandle to Lincoln to testify. We had a very strong showing of private citizens who testified in favor of the bill. In fact, no private citizens came out testify against the bill. Only lobbyists, unions and non-profit organizations testified against the bill, and I believe that fact shows how much Nebraskans desire this bill. I believe the personal testimonies and stories that were shared at the hearing as well as the numerous letters which were submitted left an indelible mark on the members of the Revenue Committee. Thank you for helping me give Nebraskans significant and substantial property tax relief.
LB829 will finally put taxpayers at the front of the line, instead of at the back of the line behind tax users. This bill unites urban and rural dwellers. It does not pit them against each other. We are all in this together!
LB829 now resides within the Revenue Committee, where it will be up to the members of the Revenue Committee to vote the bill out of committee and into General File. The question which now faces the Revenue Committee is this: Will the members of the Revenue Committee represent the citizens of Nebraska or will they represent the special interests of the lobbyists, the unions, and the non-profits? When asked to explain how I intended to pay for LB829, I responded by asking the members of the Revenue Committee how they expect Nebraskans to continue paying their property taxes.
If the Revenue Committee kills the bill, there is still one measure left I can use as a last resort. As a member of the Legislature I can make a motion to pull the bill out of the Revenue Committee. If the motion were to carry on the floor with 25 votes, the bill would automatically advance to General File.
On Friday, LB17 was debated on the floor of the Legislature. I took over as the primary sponsor of LB17 after Sen. Joni Craighead of Omaha suddenly resigned from office. LB17 is a carry-over bill from last year’s session. This bill is needed in order to put Nebraska into compliance with federal laws and regulations concerning the Nebraska Appraisal Management Act and Title XI of the Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989. LB17 advanced to Final Reading.