LINCOLN - In her latest legislative column, State Sen. Julie Slama offers opposition to Gov. Jim Pillen’s favored tax bill LB 388.

Slama said Nebraska needs less government spending and lower taxes, not higher sales taxes to create a narrative of momentary property tax cuts.

She said the proposed 1 cent increase in sales tax will shift the tax burden to local shops without relief for low and middle-income families.

 

Here is the senator’s column

Last week, the Legislature debated the controversial property tax “reform” package from the Revenue Committee, LB 388.

Although I appreciate the hard work of those on the committee in seeking a solution to lower property taxes, I remain opposed to the measure.
After decades of increased property taxes, Nebraskans deserve true tax reform, not a tax shift. I am well aware of high property taxes, however in crafting this tax package, it is apparent that this plan is instead of creating long-term sound fiscal solutions, it is “solving” one problem by creating another.

This is simply an attempt for current elected officials to claim that they have lowered property taxes when they are looking for re-election.

However, let’s not be fooled, a good tax policy will only come from less spending and lower taxes and not tax hikes and shifts. Nebraska has a spending problem and needs to limit spending on local governments.

The proposed tax package would raise Nebraska’s state sales tax rate by 1 cent, an 18% increase which would move Nebraska into the top 10 for highest rates among states. A sales tax hike means that Nebraskans will be paying more for the goods and services that their families need, increasing the cost of cars, clothes, and school supplies.

Sales taxes are the most regressive tax category in the state resulting in little to no relief to low- and middle-income families. Nebraska needs hard spending caps on school districts as they make up the largest portion of property tax spending instead of the Nebraska “mom and pop” shops that are trying to make payroll after the pandemic.

This tax shift hurts our local grocery stores, storage facilities, veterinary clinics, and more. Raiding our rainy-day funds for short-term “tax relief” is not a permanent solution and is not a good fiscal policy.
 Furthermore, this tax shift fails to merely offer short-term relief for many Nebraskans.
As always, I welcome your input on issues important to you.

Follow along on my Facebook and Twitter pages, both entitled “Senator Julie Slama” for more updates, or contact me directly at Senator Julie Slama, District 1 State Capitol, PO Box 94604, Lincoln NE 68509-4604; telephone: 402-471-2733; email: [email protected].