WAYNE – Senator Joni Albrecht gave her weekly press release update. Albrecht stated that there is some good news throughout Nebraska and the nation despite the abundance of negative news. Unemployment claims are down, as the nation begins to open back up.
Calm has been restored in Lincoln. There were riots resulting in property damage and broken windows at the Capital. The damages won’t affect the legislature’s return to session scheduled for July 20, 2020.
In other news, Dakota County began phase one of reopening. Wayne and Thurston counties began phase two. Further information about guidelines can be found on the senator’s May 22 update here.
The USDA has worked alongside the State of Nebraska to give much needed relief to farmers. Also, the national unemployment rate fell from 14.7% to 13.3%. There were 2.5 million jobs added in May. Nebraska employments numbers aren’t available from May yet. In April though, Nebraska unemployment rate was historically high at 8.3%. This was still far below the national average, which was at 14.7%.
Dr. Ernie Gross, an economist, analyzed Nebraska’s economic numbers. The agricultural sector was hit the hardest by the pandemic. Manufacturing industries are on the rise, but the service industries didn’t do as well. Dr. Gross estimates that the fiscal impact in Nebraska from March 14 to May 5 has been $80 million. That number doesn’t account for the CARES Act. Early signs are that this could be the shortest recession in duration.
Dr. Gross believes that Nebraska will have to tap into Nebraska’s reserves to make it through this time. Albrecht stated that the legislature must reduce property tax and create an environment that induces business start-ups and growth. Total impact of reserves will not be known until after the filing deadline of July 15. There will be a special meeting on July 23 to consider the impact COVID-19 and to review the general tax fund.
Albrecht emphasized the need for relief on property tax. She says this will lighten the burden on stressed property owners, businesses, and agricultural producers. The senator noted a property tax reduction proposal (LD1106). This will decrease the schools’ reliance on property tax and increase state aid. This approach will reduce taxes to property owners, the senator stated.
As usual Senator Joni Albrecht invited her constituents to share their thoughts, ideas, and concerns by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling her office at 402-471-2716.