Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts talks taxes, schools, development

1-on-1 interview with Anchor Craig Nigrelli
Posted at 11:06 PM, Aug 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-31 00:06:14-04

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts touted big projects that are coming to our state, specifically mentioning Costco's chicken processing plant in Fremont and Facebook in Papillion.

"Generally, we want to look for ways to grow our state," he said.

In a one-on-one interview with Anchor Craig Nigrelli, Gov. Ricketts talked about the importance of Nebraska products — exports — going to Japan and China. But there is one particular drag on the state's economy: revenue.

"About 20 percent of our state's gross economy gets back to agriculture, and farm income has been cut in half since 2012, 2013," he said. "So when farmers and ranchers see their incomes go down, they tighten their belts and cut their spending, and that ripples throughout our entire economy."

The governor also talked about the importance of education.

In Omaha, the Millard Public School District has a $6 Million shortfall that administrators say is the result of years of shrinking state aid. They are now looking to increase the school tax bill.

So is Westside, where a mail-in election is going on right now.

"Despite the fact that our budget grew only at 0.6 percent, our commitment to education grew at 2 percent. So you can see the state is clearly prioritizing K-12 education," Gov. Ricketts said.

The Governor says right now a major priority is finding a new State Patrol Superintendent.

He also urged local governments to cut the property tax levy to offset much publicized increases in home values.