Nebraska Farm Bureau offered its support for LB 103 this week. Introduced by the Revenue Committee Chair, Sen. Lou Ann Linehan of Omaha, the bill would require property tax collecting entities to provide notice of and host a public hearing, as well as take a vote to increase property taxes, when valuation increase would lead to increased tax collections even if the local levy rate remains flat.
Nebraska Farm Bureau also offered support this week for LB 158, a bill introduced by Sen. Tom Brewer of Gordon. The bill would “cap” property taxes at 2019 levels for tax years 2020-2023.
Total property tax collections in Nebraska have increased by 57 percent from 2007 to 2017, with
agricultural land taxes increasing 152 percent alone during that same period.
The Revenue Committee also heard testimony this week on LB 183, a bill introduced by Sen. Tom Briese of Albion. The measure would change ag land valuation to 1 percent of actual value for purpose of paying the principal and interest on K-12 school bonds. The bill was modeled after measures in other states and seeks to address situations where a minority of voters could be left to pay the majority of the taxes to cover bond costs. In some school districts agriculture land compromises as much as 70 percent of the property tax base, but the owners of the agricultural land might only represent 3 percent of the voting population. Nebraska Farm Bureau offered its support for the measure at the hearing.
Throughout the session Nebraska Farm Bureau will be offering testimony on some bills as part of the Agriculture Leaders Working Group. The group includes the Nebraska Farm Bureau,
Nebraska Cattlemen, Nebraska Corn Growers, Nebraska Pork Producers, Nebraska Soybean Growers, Nebraska State Dairy Association, and the Nebraska Wheat Growers Association.