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Laser

Tim Walsh projects lasers onto the Nebraska State Capitol building Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. The laser show will be part of the Nebraska 150 Celebration.

KAYLA WOLF, Journal Star

A recent letter ("Nebraska still unwilling to cut property taxes," Feb. 25) criticized the Unicameral’s lack of action and Gov. Pete Ricketts’ Property Tax Cuts and Opportunities Act.

With more than 20 days left in this legislative session, there is more than sufficient time for senators to come together to get major property tax relief delivered to the governor’s desk. The governor’s proposal, the Nebraska Property Tax Cuts and Opportunities Act (LB947), provides an opportunity for rural and urban senators to work together to deliver major, responsible relief that fits within the budget.

The governor’s proposal lays out a plan to immediately provide a 12 percent property tax credit for farm families and homeowners, which grows to 30 percent over time. Overall, the plan would provide over $4 billion in tax relief over the first 10 years.

The importance of budgeting for tax relief is often overlooked in the tax relief discussion. Rather than working within the budget, some have suggested tax increases or drastic measures with uncertain outcomes. These could result in major tax shifts that have the potential to negatively impact rural Nebraska in a significant way.

Gov. Ricketts’ plan offers a path forward for both rural and urban interests without tax increases. Most importantly, the plan protects Nebraska’s farm and ranch families while delivering major, much-needed property tax relief.

I urge senators to work together and get property tax relief done through LB947 this session, so our farm families get the relief they need this year.

Steve Wellman, Lincoln

Director, Nebraska Department of Agriculture

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