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State Capitol

Philosopher and NU alumnus Hartley Burr Alexander's words honoring pioneers inscribed on a north stair buttress at the Nebraska State Capitol.

Nebraska’s extremely high land prices and resulting real-property valuations, lost state equalization payments and resulting property tax levies are the result of greedy agricultural land purchases by a very small number of highly capitalized producers and reinvestments of like-kind exchanges under Internal Revenue Code section 1031.

Nebraska lawmakers have magnified the malady by underfunding our public schools and institutions of higher learning opting instead to use state income tax revenues to pay for corporate tax incentives and other tax cuts for the states wealthiest.

Then, they unscrupulously scapegoat Nebraska’s public schools and institutions of higher learning for creating Nebraska’s current property tax malady.

Highly capitalized ag producers own huge parcels of land. If Nebraska uses the e-commerce sales tax collections in its entirety for property tax relief as proposed by Gov. Pete Ricketts and Sen. Steve Erdman, these producers will realize the largest share of sales tax revenue redistributions.

Nebraska thus continues rewarding the state's wealthiest while ignoring middle- and lower-income Nebraskans, public schools and institutions of higher learning.

In the general election, will you vote for wealth concentration, or will you cast a vote for property tax reductions for all Nebraskans through an “equality for all” distribution of the e-commerce sales tax revenue with increased state funding for public schools and institutions of higher learning?

Alvin Guenther, Dunbar

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