LT GOV SEES “THOUGHTFUL CONSIDERATION” FROM AUDIENCES ON TAX REFORM PLAN

Posted 2 years ago

By John Axtell

Governor Dave Heineman’s plan to eliminate or sharply reduce income taxes in Nebraska by eliminating or reducing most of  sales tax exemptions is drawing a wait-and-see response from state lawmakers.

The governor unveiled the plan Tuesday in his State of the State address to the Unicameral, during which he also outline his budget proposal for the next two years.

Most of the state senators  seem to share the position of Senator John Harms of Scottsbluff…who says the “devil is in the details” – which sales tax exemptions would be ended, which trimmed, and which would stay as they.

Lt Governor Rick Sheehy says Harms’ position is fair, but that people around Nebraska tell him their property taxes and income taxes are too high, leading Heineman to decide to do something about.

Sheehy toured 8 Nebraska cities Tuesday and Wednesday, pushing the tax reform plan and the governor’s 2-year budget. He says those at his presentations were thoughtful when considering the proposal.

The only specific questions he received were from those in agriculture who asked if the exemptions on their production inputs such as seed and fertilizer would be repealed, and from those in health care who wondered if their services or equipment would be taxed.

Sheehy says those are kinds of discussions he and the governor want to have in what expects to be a long and thoughtful dialog on tax reform…adding that they’re open to other ideas so that they can be sure Nebraska has a simpler and fairer tax code to make Nebraska more competitive.

Sheehy visited  McCook, Sidney, Scottsbluff, and Alliance on Tuesday…Chadron, South Sioux City, Falls City, and Beatrice on Wednesday. He read the governor’s State of the State address at each, then answered audience questions.