Gov. Pete Ricketts has defined the playing field for property tax relief in the 2019 legislative session as he sees it.
The fundamentals for Ricketts are "controlling spending, reforming how property is valued for tax purposes and avoiding tax shifts."
Nothing really new there, but the governor's position as stated in a column sets the stage for yet another legislative battle over property tax reduction that looks a lot like previous skirmishes and is likely to result in the same ending.
It is reductions in the rate of growth in state spending that have allowed the state to increase property tax relief funding along with the amount of state aid to local governments, Ricketts wrote.
Once again, the governor is proposing a change in the way property is valued for tax purposes, moving from market value to an income potential assessment system.
Ricketts made it crystal clear that he will not accept legislative proposals to increase other taxes to provide more immediate property tax relief.
Meanwhile, some rural senators remain focused on substantial property tax reductions now, the kind of immediate relief that could be provided only through increases in other tax rates and/or changes in tax credits, deductions and exemptions.
Looking ahead to the prospects for immediate and substantial property tax relief in the 2019 legislative session, I am quickly reminded of something former baseball pitcher and philosopher Dan Quisenberry once said.
"I have seen the future and it's much like the present, only longer," he said.
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