WAYNE – As the 107th Nebraska Legislature, Second Session convenes on Wednesday, District 17 Senator Joni Albrecht will be working to prepare new legislation that is vital while carrying through the bills she introduced last session that are still in general file.
According to the weekly release, Senator Albrecht will be introducing a bill to ensure that Nebraska customers maintain the ability to choose natural gas, propane, electricity or other utilities in their communities; and a bill for the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles and the Nebraska State Patrol to harmonize Nebraska Statute with Federal Regulations.
Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts stated Nebraska has again lowered the national record for the lowest unemployment rate—now at 1.8 percent for Nebraska.
Senator Albrecht then addressed school property tax credit. In 2020 Nebraska Legislature enacted a new property tax relief program under Legislative Bill 1107. The program created a state income tax credit that went into effect for the 2020 tax year. Nebraska real property owners were able to file in 2021 and receive credit from the state for a portion of the local school district property taxes they paid.
The Refundable Income Tax Credit created in LB 1107 is set to grow as tax revenues exceed expectations. Last year’s credit was worth $125 million, offsetting 6% of local school property taxes. This year’s credit will jump to $548 million, offsetting 25.3% of local school property taxes. Taxpayers will receive this credit when they file their state income taxes in 2022. The 2021 tax filing deadline was extended due to the pandemic.
Senator Albrecht states, “according to an Omaha World-Herald article, as of mid-October 2021, only $73 million out of the $125 million has been claimed by property owners, leaving around 40% unclaimed.”
For those who filed your Nebraska income tax return without claiming the credit for school district property tax you paid, you can claim the credit by filing an Amended Nebraska Individual Income Tax Return, Form 1040XN, and attaching a completed Nebraska Property Tax Incentive Act Credit Computation, Form PTC. Questions regarding the tax credit provided by the Nebraska Property Tax Incentive Act may be directed to: Tom Milburn, Revenue Tax Specialist, Policy Section 402-471-5814 or email@example.com.
Senator Albrecht went onto to state she has received several questions about new federal regulations for drivers of covered farm vehicles. After checking with the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles and Nebraska Farm Bureau, Senator Albracht has learned that the major change to federal requirements will affect farmers and ranchers who want to obtain a CDL or let their CDL lapse to drive a commercial vehicle.
If your vehicle meets the definition of a covered farm vehicle, this will not affect you as long as you, your family, or employee are hauling your commodity in your covered farm vehicle to or from your farm or ranch within the state of Nebraska, or within 150 miles of your farm or ranch if traveling across state lines. This will not affect farmers and ranchers who already have their CDL, but if you have let the CDL lapse, if you are upgrading your CDL or you want a new CDL, it is best to get it sooner rather than later.
The federal rule for required entry level driver training goes into effect Feb. 7, 2022. The entry level driver training regulations are not retroactive for individuals holding a valid CDL or an S, P or H endorsement issued prior to Feb. 7, 2022. The rule aims to maintain higher driver standards by enforcing and mandating training for entry-level drivers. If you have any additional questions, you can find all the related information at https://dmv.nebraska.gov/dl/covered-farm-vehicle or call Matt Coatney, CDL Program Manager at the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicle at 402-471-1472.
You can also contact the Nebraska State Patrol Carrier Enforcement Division at 402-471-0105 to answer any questions you may have as you plan to transport your commodities.
Also, the Nebraska Department of Transportation has announced funds are now available to private non-profit organizations and governmental entities for transportation needs of elderly persons and persons with disabilities for whom mass transportation services are unavailable, insufficient or inappropriate. Eligible applicants include private non-profit organizations incorporated within Nebraska and governmental entities. Applications will be accepted from qualified entities in the small urban and rural areas of the state. The purpose of the Federal Transit Administration’s Section 5310 program is to enhance the mobility of seniors and individuals with disabilities.
Applications are restricted to operating projects, for driver wages and employer paid fringe benefits only. Allowable expenses are 100% reimbursable on a monthly basis. Applications are due by February 18, 2022. Additional information and applications can be obtained at https://nebraskatransit.com/ or by contacting Lucinda Dowding, Federal Aid Administrator III at Lucinda.Dowding@nebraska.gov or 402-479-3127.
Senator Albracht is reminding District 17 residents there will be bridge construction taking place on I-129 going in both directions between US 75 and the Iowa State Line in the South Sioux City area. Traffic will be restricted with a 12-foot width limit. Traffic will be maintained going eastbound and westbound during the bridge work. The anticipated completion is January 2022.
Bridge construction will also be taking place on I-129 going both directions between Exit 2: Dakota Avenue and Iowa State Line, 1 mile east of South Sioux City. Traffic restrictions are in force due to bridge construction work with a 12-foot width limit in effect. Traffic, however, will be maintained going eastbound and westbound during the bridge work. The anticipated completion is January 2022.
If you have any comments or concerns, contact Senator Albrecht at 402-471-2716 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.