Community Development News

Nebraska Property Tax Relief: Is Rickett’s Plan the Solution?

As they work to determine the best way to bring property-tax relief to Nebraskans, state lawmakers are debating a bill this week backed by Gov. Pete Ricketts. 

Legislative Bill 947 would create a refundable tax credit for agricultural and homeowner property taxes that would grow over time and reduces the top corporate income tax rate about one percentage point over five years. While the measure outlines some property-tax relief, critics say it is nominal for residential property owners and does little to help agricultural landowners now. 

A once-in-a-generation opportunity for tax reform and education funding 

LB 1084, Sen. Tom Briese’s combined property tax relief and school funding bill, is a once-in-a-generation opportunity. Let me explain this bold statement.

In the mid-1960s, two generations ago, the state of Nebraska ended statewide property tax. At about the same time, the state began collecting both sales and income taxes. These were all bold moves for generating income for the state.

Recognizing the importance of SNAP in rural Nebraska

In our state’s rural communities, where the food that feeds the world is grown, food insecurity is endured by thousands of children, seniors, and hardworking Nebraskans. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps stave off hunger for 1 in 11 Nebraskans.

Yet, the president’s 2019 budget outlines a nearly $214 billion cut to SNAP over the next decade. A cut of this magnitude would undoubtedly impact rural Nebraskans.

From the desk of the executive director: Where have all the bankers gone?

The Center for Rural Affairs first examined consolidation in the banking industry in a 1978 report, “Where Have All the Bankers Gone?”. We have long understood the critical link between credit, who has access, who doesn’t, and how it shapes communities.

That’s why a recent report in the Wall Street Journal caught my eye. It detailed how banking in rural communities has fared in the years since the financial crisis. 

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