WAYNE – Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts joined the “View from Wayne America” Tuesday morning with property tax relief and March weather impact on the state being the main topics.
Recent news releases from the Governor’s Office have talked about property tax relief. Last Thursday, Governor Ricketts stated the recent decision by the Nebraska Economic Forecasting Advisory Board was “good news for property tax relief”.
The board raised the revenue forecast by $45 million for the current fiscal year FY2018-19 and $10 million for fiscal year FY2019-20.
Governor Ricketts has been focused on property tax since he became governor. The Appropriations Committee is also pursuing a path of raising taxes to achieve property tax relief, according to Governor Ricketts.
“They’re looking at raising sales tax just generally,” said Governor Ricketts. “They’re also looking at taxing items like food, pop, candy, bottled water (and) services like HVAC, plumbers, pet healthcare. All things that were tax-exempt in the past and they’re looking at adding taxes to them. Looking at raising for example the cigarette tax.”
Earlier in the month, Governor Ricketts recommended an increase of $51 million each year to the Property Tax Credit Relief Fund. The Appropriations Committee previously voted to only include $26 million in the budget of the $51 million recommended by the Governor.
Governor Ricketts had several opportunities to travel across the state following the blizzard, straight-line winds and flooding disasters. Governor Ricketts added this was the most widespread natural disaster that Nebraska has ever experienced in the state’s history.
“What we saw was just a great effort on the local folks,” Governor Ricketts added. “Whether it was our firefighters, our EMT’s, our deputy sheriff’s, our sheriff’s, police chiefs, just other law enforcement, volunteers. All of these folks put the community first ahead of their own needs to help keep their neighbors safe.”
Of the 10,000 miles of highways, over a 1/3 of them were closed during March as the Nebraska Department of Transportation has reduced that to 11 miles of highway now. There are still about 12 bridges out.