Community Development News

Public support to raise sales tax remains high

Nine years ago, voters approved a statewide ballot referendum to amend the Iowa Constitution to create the Natural Resource and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund. Support remains strong for paying for the trust fund with a sales tax increase. A recent Des Moines Register poll indicated 65 percent of Iowans support a full cent sales tax increase to pay for a combination of water quality projects and mental health services.

Rural communities could use broadband to grow

Rural Nebraskans have finally got the attention of the Legislature in regard to broadband access. Legislative Bill 549, introduced by Sen. Tom Brandt of District 32, represents an important first step in expanding broadband to all areas of Nebraska. The bill aims to provide resources for an accurate mapping of current broadband service across the state, mapping that is long overdue.

Fixemer: Legislature’s property tax plan should support next generation of farmers

In every town you’ll find people doing their best to give back to their communities, providing support for the next generation, and leading by example so that others can succeed down the line. These are the people our communities need to thrive and who are invaluable to the continued health of rural America. Jerry Fixemer is one of those people.

Emergency services hard to reach with no broadband access

As a small business owner, it’s vital to have internet access; that’s where 95 percent of my sales occur. YouTube videos, as well as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all require internet, and are extremely important for my business to function. Unfortunately, it is very hard to find inexpensive and reliable internet living in rural Nebraska.

Antiquated tax code hinders property tax relief

Nebraska’s economy has evolved, but the state’s tax code has not. For decades, property owners have been left to fill in the gaps as the state neglects its obligation to fund schools and other public services. For actual property tax relief to be achieved, the Unicameral must pass legislation that modernizes the tax system and raises state revenue.

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