NEBRASKA LEGISLATURE

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Julie Slama

Sen. Julie Slama

District 1

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Week of February 8
March 1st, 2021

High property taxes are the single biggest hurdle to economic development in Nebraska. Last year, our Legislature passed LB 1107. This bill achieved over $1 billion in new relief, but structural reform is still needed to address the root of the issue. Substantial, sustainable property tax relief is still my top goal while in office, and this week’s column will explore the broad range of different ideas for property tax relief legislation in 2021.

LB 189, introduced by Senator Halloran, would require political subdivisions to include property tax refunds in their budgets. It also requires political subdivisions to pay refunds in full at an interest rate of 9 percent.

LB 454, introduced by Senator Friesen, would create a School Property Tax Stabilization Program. This would direct state aid to school districts who rely heavily on property taxes to fund their basic education standards. Granting more state aid to our public institutions will allow them to shift away from their dependence on our property taxes.

LB 466, introduced by Senator Linehan, clarifies that only current year taxes, not prior year taxes being paid in arrears, are prorated between the buyer and the seller of real property, unless the parties have agreed to a different proration method. The county assessor is to prorate the taxes due for the year in which the sale occurs, based on the number of days the buyer and the seller owned the property during such year.

LR 13CA, introduced by Senator Brewer, is a constitutional amendment that would place a limit on how much property tax revenue can be used to fund public education in Nebraska to 33 percent, forcing the state to cover the expenses for education in rural areas just as they do in the suburbs and cities. If passed, the amendment would be placed on the ballot in the next general election for the people to ratify.

LR 22CA introduced by Senator Linehan is another constitutional amendment that would limit the overall annual increase in local property tax revenue to 3%, unless local voters approve a higher increase. This limit would not apply to bonds or to new growth in property taxing subdivisions, nor would it reduce local property taxes or apply to revenue sources other than property taxes. Just as with LR 13CA, this amendment would need to be ratified by the voters.

You can learn more about these bills, or any other bills introduced in this session, by visiting the Nebraska Legislature’s website. These bills just begin to scratch the surface of the 20+ bills introduced in 2021 that attempt to lower property taxes, and I’m encouraged to see so many of my colleagues focused on this issue.

As always, I welcome your input on issues important to you. Follow along on my Facebook and Twitter pages, both entitled “Senator Julie Slama” for more updates, or contact me directly at Senator Julie Slama, District 1 State Capitol, PO Box 94604, Lincoln NE 68509-4604; telephone: 402-471-2733; email: jslama@leg.ne.gov.

Sen. Julie Slama

District 1
Room 11th Floor
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
(402) 471-2733
Email: jslama@leg.ne.gov
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