Small Towns News

Immigration, opportunity, and rural America

Amidst the turbulent political times for immigrants in our country, the Center for Rural Affairs reiterates its commitment to advancing a set of values that reflects the best of rural America. Among those values are RESPONSIBILITY placed upon each of us to contribute to our community and society, genuine OPPORTUNITY for all to earn a living, raise a family, and prosper in a rural place, and FAIRNESS that allows all who contribute to the nation’s prosperity to share in it.

President’s 2018 budget undercuts rural communities

President Trump’s budget released on May 23 demonstrates his lack of understanding and prioritization of the struggles of rural communities.

Although Trump won the presidency with broad support from rural voters, his budget proposes to zero out several programs that address the challenges of rural communities. Proposed cuts include reducing or eliminating support for rural small businesses and entrepreneurs and compromising anti-poverty programs that lead to healthy families.

Exploring growing taxes on Nebraska farms

How does Nebraska’s tax burden balance out?

A recent report from the Center for Rural Affairs explores the tax burden in 13 Nebraska counties. Using data from the Nebraska Department of Revenue, the Center compared income, property, and agricultural property tax trends over a 10-year period. While income tax revenue remained steady, there was a dynamic and growing shift of Nebraska’s tax burden onto agricultural property taxpayers.

Why does Nebraska’s current tax debate matter?

Nebraskans are left to sit upon an unbalanced three-legged tax stool.

The property tax leg is too long, representing more than 35 percent of the state’s tax revenues. The income tax leg of the stool is too short, reflecting 27 percent of state revenue. Sales tax accounts for 30 percent and the remaining 8 percent comes from other sources.

Proposals before the Legislature seek to shift this balance, but in a manner that could leave middle and low-income Nebraskans with access to fewer services while shouldering a greater percentage of the tax burden.

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