Removing Barriers for Nebraskans

Missouri governor signs “best” universal recognition bill

Missouri governor signs “best” universal recognition bill

On Monday, Missouri Governor Mike Parson joined the list of governors who have signed major occupational licensing reform in the last year. Missouri’s bill, like Iowa’s bill a few weeks ago, creates substantial universal recognition and opportunities under what has sometimes been termed a “fresh start act”–giving those who have spent time incarcerated the potential...

By Laura Ebke

Nebraska economy shrinks, but spared worst by growth in agriculture

Nebraska economy shrinks, but spared worst by growth in agriculture

New estimates show that growth in the ag sector gave Nebraska the country’s smallest economic contraction in the first quarter of 2020. Nebraska’s economy shrank 1.3% according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. That’s compared to the U.S. average of a 5% contraction. Nebraska’s Plain States region averaged a loss of 3.6%. While the data...

By Adam Weinberg

Emergency grace period on vehicle registration and driver licenses ends August 31

Emergency grace period on vehicle registration and driver licenses ends August 31

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts has rescinded an emergency executive order that effectively allowed some drivers and vehicle owners to continue operating their vehicles with expired licenses or unpaid registrations during the state of emergency declared for the COVID-19 pandemic. Executive Order 20-05 provided a grace period for permits, licenses, and registrations that expired on or...

By Adam Weinberg

Scheer: Legislature hasn’t reached consensus on major tax issues

Scheer: Legislature hasn’t reached consensus on major tax issues

Nebraska Legislature Speaker Jim Scheer and Executive Board Chair Sen. Mike Hilgers were guests on today’s Platte Institute Webinar. The focus of the webinar was the upcoming return of the Legislature on July 20, and what can be expected in the remaining 17 days of the legislative calendar. The Legislature’s session was suspended in March...

By Jaliya Nagahawatte

States are sticking with most CARES Act tax provisions

States are sticking with most CARES Act tax provisions

Just last week, the Nebraska Legislature’s Revenue Committee held a hearing on the impact conforming with federal tax provisions in the CARES Act would have on the state’s tax revenues. Revenue Committee Chair Sen. Lou Ann Linehan ended that meeting by stating that decoupling from CARES Act tax regulation was not out of the question....

By Jaliya Nagahawatte

More businesses may close if Nebraska rejects CARES Act tax changes

More businesses may close if Nebraska rejects CARES Act tax changes

This week, senators on the Nebraska Legislature’s Revenue Committee met in Lincoln to discuss the impact of tax changes included in the federal CARES Act. Many of the federal relief plan’s tax provisions are designed to help businesses increase their cash flow during the recession, including expanding the net operating loss (NOL), which will allow...

By Sarah Curry

Nebraska hospitality workforce 28% smaller than one year ago

Nebraska hospitality workforce 28% smaller than one year ago

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the May unemployment rates for 2020 this morning. Overall, it was a more optimistic picture for our nation. Rates were lower in 38 states, with Nebraska posting the lowest unemployment rate in the nation at 5.2%. The total unemployed in the state currently stands at 54,879 people, down from...

By Sarah Curry, Jaliya Nagahawatte

Nebraska gas tax set for automatic increase July 1

Nebraska gas tax set for automatic increase July 1

Prices at the pump in Nebraska could be about 4 cents a gallon higher, thanks to an automatic increase in the state’s gas tax set to take effect July 1. Today, the Nebraska Department of Revenue issued the latest figures for the gas tax, which is recalculated twice a year in accordance with state law....

By Adam Weinberg

Iowa to offer universal recognition of job licenses

Iowa to offer universal recognition of job licenses

Last weekend, our neighbors in Iowa took a big step forward in occupational licensing reform with the passage of House File 2627 by both houses of the legislature. The governor is expected to sign the bill—probably in a signing ceremony worthy of a significant reform effort—sometime in the next week. The Iowa bill does not...

By Laura Ebke

Nebraskans to vote on property tax issues in online town halls

Nebraskans to vote on property tax issues in online town halls

Nebraska voters and taxpayers can make their voice heard on the state’s top tax issue in a series of online events on property tax reform. The Platte Institute’s Virtual Property Tax Town Halls will be held on Zoom. The events are scheduled to run through July and August, as the Nebraska Legislature returns for the...

By Adam Weinberg

Nebraska’s new initial unemployment claims are starting to taper off

Nebraska’s new initial unemployment claims are starting to taper off

For the week of June 6, 2020, an additional 4,697 Nebraskans filed for unemployment. This new data takes the total of unemployment claims up to 138,091 in Nebraska since COVID-19 restrictions were put in place.  While there was a major surge in mid-March to early-April as the economy began to slow down, that trend has started...

By Jaliya Nagahawatte

Senator’s Twitter poll asks about sales tax on streaming services

Senator’s Twitter poll asks about sales tax on streaming services

A recent online poll result on the Twitter account for Nebraska state Sen. Machela Cavanaugh showed overwhelming opposition to the idea of paying sales tax for online streaming subscription services like Netflix, Hulu, and Apple TV. Would you support a Nebraska state 7% sales tax on digital entertainment services? (i.e. Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV, etc)...

By Adam Weinberg