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Recent posts by Brian Depew

What if the workers owned it?

The owners of a mid-sized manufacturing plant in a nearby small town were ready to retire, but no one in the next generation was interested in taking over.

The plant was sold to an out-of-state buyer with no local ties. The business was profitable, but the new owners chose to merge operations and close the local plant.

The story is familiar in small towns. Is there an alternative? I think so. Worker-owned co-ops and employee stock ownership plans could offer another path forward for these businesses.

Proposal to cut income taxes misguided

In the face of a budget shortfall, some political leaders in Lincoln are clamoring to cut income taxes for the wealthiest Nebraskans.

The move would compound our real challenge. It’s property taxes that Nebraskans are asking lawmakers to look at.

The Center for Rural Affairs has long held that state revenue should be balanced among property, sales and income tax. Today, property tax accounts for 36 percent of revenue; sales tax, 30 percent; and income tax, just 26 percent.

Income tax is already the shortest of the three revenue legs.

From the desk of the Executive Director: What if the workers owned it?

The sale and closure of a midsize manufacturing plant in a nearby small town got me thinking.

The business was home-grown, but no one in the next generation was interested in taking the helm. The owners were ready to retire, and they needed to sell the business. 

The buyer was from out of state. The business was profitable, but the new owner had no ties to the local community. 

You know how this ends. 

You are the force that makes our values come alive

As we close out the year, I wanted to share some reflections on our work.

1. Center staff, board and grassroots supporters are fantastic people - As I crisscross the state and the country visiting with Center folks, I’ve come to see how deeply you care about your community. You are passionate about everyone having opportunity no matter where they live or who they are. And many of you dig deep each year to make a gift that supports our cause. You are fantastic.

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