Serenity Now!

Revenue Committee Chair, Lou Ann Linehan, stepped-up her game at a press conference last Wednesday. She outlined a legitimate property tax plan that would shift some costs for funding K-12 and community colleges from property taxes to sales taxes. The product is a collaboration between Senator Linehan and Education Committee chair, Mike Groene. LB289 will be the vehicle. The bill is on General File and an amendment to the bill will have a public hearing at 4pm on April 24.

“I’m out there Jerry, and I’m LOVIN’ every minute of it!”

Linehan’s seven other committee members stood behind her at the press conference. None of them spoke, but it was obvious there is dissension in the ranks.

“The sea was angry that day my friend, like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli.”

Predictably, the Governor dislikes what he heard. He says it’s a tax increase.

“No soup for you!”

In a nutshell, an amendment to LB289 would reduce property valuations on agricultural land from 75% to 65%, and reduce residential and commercial valuations from 100% to 90%. PLUS, lowering property valuations can also result in lower taxes collected by cities, counties, natural resource districts, etc.

“Not that there’s anything wrong with that!”

To balance a property tax reduction, an amended LB289 would raise tax on a pack of cigarettes by 36¢ / eliminate sales tax exemptions on pop, bottled water, candy, veterinary services for pets / plumbing / HVAC / storage and moving services / transfers $51 million from on-lines sales tax collections. The amended LB289 would use the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to restrict school spending.

“A Festivus for the rest of us.”

Public schools and community colleges hate the idea. Cities and counties hate it just as much. They each have significant influence with senators, as well as very effective lobbyists who are currently on high schmooze alert.

“Jerry, just remember, it’s not a lie if you believe it.”

Overtaxed property owners like farmers, homeowners and commercial property owners would stand to finally receive relief. But who represents them? Agriculture Associations have representation, but homeowners and commercial property owners have few advocates on the front line.

“GET OUT!”

On Thursday (April 25), the Economic Forecasting Advisory Board meets to provide an advisory forecast of general fund receipts that is used by the Legislature to craft the state’s budget. The Appropriations Committee will factor that information into their proposed budget that must be delivered to the Legislature by May 2.

“These pretzels are making me thirsty.”

WatchList

APPROVED BY THE GOVERNOR

  • LB57 Prohibits municipalities from adopting or enforcing ordinances/regulations that expressly or effectively prohibit the short-term rental of residential properties and restrict the ability of municipalities to regulate residential properties used as short-term rentals. The Tax Commissioner will enter into agreements with online hosting platforms and short-term rentals to permit the online housing platform to collect and remit applicable sales taxes on behalf of sellers or hotel operators otherwise required to collect such taxes for transactions consummated through the online hosting platform.
  • LB203 Amends the Music Licensing Act to add the owner of a multi-family dwelling to the definition of “proprietor.” Apartment common areas (lobby, clubhouse, fitness center) are included in the Act.

 

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