Removing Barriers for Nebraskans

Nebraska unemployment ranks lowest, approaching pre-pandemic levels

Nebraska unemployment ranks lowest, approaching pre-pandemic levels

Since the start of the pandemic, Americans have wondered when the job market would return to normal. For Nebraska, that time may be now. The Nebraska Department of Labor announced Friday that the state’s unemployment rate currently sits at 4%. That figure is not only the lowest in Nebraska since the beginning of the pandemic...

By Jaliya Nagahawatte

What is the fastest growing area in Nebraska’s state budget?

What is the fastest growing area in Nebraska’s state budget?

Nebraska’s state budget is growing, but what area of spending is the largest and growing the fastest? Contrary to what many believe, K-12 education is not the largest expenditure in state government. Health and human services and higher education are larger state spending areas, with the state Department of Education coming in behind these two categories....

By Sarah Curry

Where is the Money Going? Tracking COVID-19 Relief Funds in Nebraska

Where is the Money Going? Tracking COVID-19 Relief Funds in Nebraska

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit our nation, Congress reacted by enacting a historic $2 trillion spending plan to keep our nation from falling into financial ruin. In total, there have been four pieces[1] of federal legislation enacted with the intent to help individuals and states combat the health and economic crisis that occurred, of which...

By Sarah Curry

2020 property tax credits will decline from previous year

2020 property tax credits will decline from previous year

Nebraska’s $275 million property tax credit program is expected to be worth a little less to property owners when they pay their 2020 tax bills. The Nebraska Department of Revenue has released its annual calculation for how much credit taxpayers will receive from the state’s current property tax relief program. For the 2020 tax year,...

By Adam Weinberg

State revenues look positive despite unexpected drop in corporate tax collections

State revenues look positive despite unexpected drop in corporate tax collections

The report for August 2020 state General Fund tax revenues was released today, September 15, and the state looks to be recovering from the recession we entered just a few months ago. According to the Nebraska Department of Revenue, the actual tax revenues are 6.4% higher for the fiscal year than projected by the state’s...

By Sarah Curry

Nebraska is cutting red tape, but still has room to improve

Nebraska is cutting red tape, but still has room to improve

Excessive regulations have harmful effects on prosperity and growth. In many cases, the compliance costs of these regulations constitute a hidden tax on businesses and citizens, costing valuable resources that could be contributing to Nebraska’s economic growth. Regulation is a necessity of our society, and we should not get rid of all regulations. But Nebraska...

By Sarah Curry

Manufacturing report card gives Nebraska an average GPA

Manufacturing report card gives Nebraska an average GPA

An annual assessment of state manufacturing and logistics industries by the Ball State University Center for Business and Economic Research finds that Nebraska ranks average among its peers, though the scorecard also notes Nebraska’s people and strong finances are advantages for its manufacturing potential. While the 2020 Manufacturing Scorecard does not give Nebraska a single...

By Adam Weinberg

City of Omaha waiving restaurant tax penalties

City of Omaha waiving restaurant tax penalties

Restaurants in the City of Omaha have received some good news. On September 3, Mayor Jean Stothert announced that the city’s Finance Department has been directed to forgive late fees on restaurant tax payments due from March through the end of 2020. Nebraska’s first positive COVID-19 case hit the Omaha metro on March 6. As...

By Nicole Fox

Don’t die in Nebraska: How the county inheritance tax works

Don’t die in Nebraska: How the county inheritance tax works

There are only six states in the nation that levy an inheritance tax, and Nebraska is one of them. In fact, Nebraska has the highest top rate at 18%. According to a local law firm, “When a person dies a resident of Nebraska or with property located in Nebraska, the Nebraska county inheritance tax will...

By Sarah Curry

Don’t be dense: Geography alone can’t explain Nebraska property taxes

Don’t be dense: Geography alone can’t explain Nebraska property taxes

A tweet by The Omaha World-Herald’s Lincoln Bureau Chief Paul Hammel compares the latest average property tax rates between states and makes reference to a piece of conventional tax wisdom that often goes unquestioned. NE ranks No. 8 in the U.S. for highest property taxes by @TaxFoundation today as measured as a percentage of owner-occupied...

By Adam Weinberg

Nebraska has cut red tape for these careers and businesses

Nebraska has cut red tape for these careers and businesses

Nebraska’s 2020 legislative session ended on August 13. In looking through the multiple occupational licensing reform bills that were signed into law just this year, Laura Ebke and I couldn’t help but notice how great of an impact the Platte Institute’s campaign for job licensing reform has had since we first supported a bill eliminating the...

By Nicole Fox

The future of ridesharing might be decided in California

The future of ridesharing might be decided in California

If you’ve traveled into an airport of any size in the last few years, the chances are that as you waited for a cab or airport shuttle, you’ve also seen lines of Ubers or Lyfts—vehicles and drivers part of the “ridesharing” economy. Or perhaps you’ve learned to use these services to get where you need...

By Laura Ebke