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Sen. Pete Ricketts comes out against Gov. Pillen's property tax relief plan

Posted at 9:23 PM, Mar 28, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-28 22:23:59-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Gov. Pillen's property tax relief plan has received pushback from his own party.

One of Pillen's closest allies, Sen. Pete Ricketts, opposes Pillen's plan.

Debate started, Wednesday, in the legislature on Pillen's plan to make property tax cuts by raising sales taxes.

Ricketts said Pillen's plan is not real tax relief and calls Pillen's plan a tax shift.

"We ought to be looking for tax policy that relieves the tax burden on everyone rather than shifting from one person to another person," Ricketts said.

The governor's plan to lower property taxes hinges on legislators agreeing to increase sales taxes and cutting funds from state budgets. Supporters say the plan is to funnel the new revenue to school districts, which in turn, would lower property taxes.

Ricketts said he doesn't believe that plan will work.

"If you look at the history of raising taxes to put money into schools, that plan has always failed," Ricketts said. "Go back and look at history, starting with the TEEOSA back in 1990. We doubled the amount of money going into education. Three years later, property taxes were higher than ever."

Political opponents of the Pillen tax plan say not only is it not feasible - but shifting to a greater reliance on sales tax places a greater burden on people struggling to make ends meet by increasing the cost of day-to-day life.

Ricketts doesn't exactly share that viewpoint, but does agree that the plan is bad policy.

"The way you get real tax relief is by controlling your spending and then when you have those revenues that exceed your expenses," Ricketts said. "This is what I did during my administration, then you put that directly back into the hands of taxpayers."

Debate on this will resume in the legislature, next Tuesday.

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