Weekly Column

Tell Sec. Perdue to stop delaying fairness rules

The new Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, has a big job ahead in running the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). One important opportunity he has is to bring greater fairness to contract livestock production. This would bolster economic growth in many of the rural communities that brought his boss, President Trump, to office.

Right now, Sec. Perdue is accepting comments on whether an important rule that would bring greater fairness to poultry and livestock production should take effect as originally intended or whether it should be delayed or stopped altogether.

Unlikely partners work toward common sense tax solution

When Gov. Ricketts’ tax cut plans emerged at the beginning of the Nebraska legislative session, they appeared to set the stage for a classic rural-urban debate. The rural voice would coalesce around the need for agricultural land property tax relief while the more urban groups would call for their own form of property tax relief and the touted income tax cut.

Yet as the combined income and property tax cut bill known as LB 461 emerged from committee and to the floor for debate, there was a uniquely unified voice among constituent groups.

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.

The president, rural voters and our future

In last fall’s election, enough rural voters switched party allegiance to account for Trump’s victory in several key Midwest and Rust Belt states.

Frustration over the economic plight facing their communities drove many of these voters.

Modern day Great Plains was built by settlers seeking economic and political independence. The region is built on widespread opportunity and the notion that hard work and dedication are all you need to get ahead.

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