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Despite lost tax revenue, property tax relief still a priority for Gov. Ricketts

Posted at 6:20 PM, May 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-18 23:18:31-04

LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — The Nebraska Legislature will have about 16 workdays to get an ambitious agenda done when they come back in the summer.

Speaker Jim Scheer announced a July 21st comeback on Monday and said in March that they’ll be working nights and weekends to make sure they get their priorities completed.

To Governor Ricketts that still includes property tax relief.

“Regular homeowners and commercial folks who are all experiencing the effects of the pandemic, is even more reason why we need to continue to focus on trying to get that property tax relief done,” says Ricketts.

The bill being pushed before the pandemic was banking on additional revenue coming into the state’s coffers. Now it looks like the opposite will be true, and the state will have less revenue than they previously thought.

Lawmakers won’t have a clear picture of the budget until they come back. Therefore, Ricketts says they’ll have to pass something different than they originally intended.

“There’s just not going to be enough money, at least in the near term, to do the things we thought we could do, three months ago,” says Ricketts.

The Unicameral was also hoping to pass a bill giving tax incentives to businesses in the state. Ricketts says that bill may have to change as well.

“I think they both have to reset their expectations,” says Ricketts.

Senator Lou Ann Linehan, who is chair of the revenue committee, tells 3 News Now that Nebraskans need property tax relief now more than ever. She’s going to be open to suggestions in order to make the bill work during these tough times, but she’s planning on trying to pass it when the legislature comes back.