Small Towns News

For Brookings, sustainability is more than a buzzword

For the community of Brookings, S.D., sustainability is more than a buzzword touting efforts to be green. Guided by the Brookings Sustainability Council, the community has adopted a holistic perspective and plan of action toward sustainability.

Together with the members of the council, the city of Brookings recognizes that true sustainability rests in balancing of the economic, environmental and social equity needs of the community today while also keeping these same needs in sight for the residents of tomorrow.

Taxing our future dreams

We are not working hard enough to make dreams come true in Nebraska. As a result, we complain about taxes. I want to write about legislators in Nebraska and surrounding states who have started to talk about drastically cutting or eliminating income taxes during the next legislative session.

It seems they have already done this in our neighboring state of Kansas with negative results. Kansas and Nebraska have many similarities including median household income, number of acres under agricultural cultivation and proportion of the population living in rural areas. That is why the Center for Rural Affairs put out the report “Kansas’ Self-Inflicted Budget Wound Continues to Bleed Out, Providing a Cautionary Tale for Nebraska.”

Kansas, A cautionary tale for others

State governments across the nation are looking to cut income tax rates. We are paying close attention to legislators in Nebraska who are publicly discussing their plans for cutting income tax rates. Some say efforts should be coupled with property tax reform. Pairing the two would break the state’s budget at a time when we are projected to face a greater than $350 million shortfall in the next budget cycle. Nebraskans only have to look to our neighbors to the south to see the folly of such imbalanced plans.

Amendment V will work for small town South Dakota

In case you missed it… Brian Hanson, Senior Policy Associate at the Center for Rural Affairs, penned the following Op-Ed on the importance of South Dakota’s Amendment V vote.

Remember, next Tuesday (Nov. 8) is Election Day - as if you could have forgotten.

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