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Ricketts, conservative state senators pursuing aggressive tax cuts: 'This is not our money'

Sen. Linehan says the state is not competitive 'tax-wise'
Posted at 6:58 PM, Jan 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-06 19:58:29-05

LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — It's no surprise that Governor Pete Ricketts and Senator Lou Ann Linehan are pursuing tax cuts.

“We are not currently competitive tax-wise, we are just not,” said Linehan.

The two have been pushing for the cuts since they got to Lincoln last decade.

At the Capitol on Thursday, Ricketts praised the taxes they already cut, which he says equals $2 billion over a two-year period.

But with state revenues booming around $400 million, they want to do more.

“We need to give the money back to the people of Nebraska. This is not our money, this is not my money, this is not the legislature’s money. This is the money that belongs to the people of Nebraska,” said Ricketts.

Ricketts, Linehan and conservative members of the Revenue Committee, which largely dictates tax policy, are looking at a variety of different taxes: income, business and property taxes, as well taxes on retirement benefits are mentioned as possibilities.

“It’s not morally acceptable to keep $4-or-$500 million of taxpayers' money that we do not need,” said Linehan.

While the Legislature has added millions in property tax credits recently, Ricketts says residents may not be seeing that money because local governments continue to raise them.

That's why he and Linehan want to bring back a bill that caps local governments on how much they raise property taxes annually.

“Depending on where you live, you might not see that much relief because of spending going up, so we’ve got to have some kind of agreement across the state that limits increases,” said Linehan.

That bill fell four votes short last year and it’s unclear if any minds will change as the new year and new session begins.

Last year, the Legislature passed a bill that began to phase out taxes for those receiving social security benefits over a 10-year period. One thing state senators think they can do this year is accelerate the phase-out.

SEE MORE: Nebraska lawmakers pass Social Security tax exemption

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