A workforce housing bill that Gering Senator John Stinner has championed for two years has gained final approval by the legislature and is on its way to Governor Ricketts for his signature.
The bill will allow communities in Nebraska to use tax increment financing and other incentives to help pay for work force housing in rural communities and other sectors in the state.
Stinner says the bill will encourage the building and renovation of multiple homes by contractors in rural communities and targeted urban areas, reducing construction costs.
Stinner said” In talking to builders if they had four or five homes to build in a row they could do volume discounts, and get their artisan to reduce their costs because they would be working over a period of time.” Stinner says the tax increment financing will help build a property base that after the TIF funds are paid for will serve as property tax relief.
But Bayard Senator Steve Erdman was the most vocal opponent, claiming the property taxes not paid through tax increment financing are added to the tax bill of average Nebraskans. Erdman said. “So if you came here and you think property taxes are too high, and you vote for L.B. 496, guess what? You just voted to raise property tax.”
The bill was approved on a 35-8 vote.