Removing Barriers for Nebraskans

Lower taxes spur new Nebraska-Iowa rivalry

Lower taxes spur new Nebraska-Iowa rivalry

The Nebraska-Iowa rivalry runs deep. Given the proximity of Nebraska’s largest cities, Iowa is usually considered our most comparable neighbor. And our states do have a lot in common. Nebraskans and Iowans often share family roots or even work across state lines. Some of our similarities are changing, though. Since the last time Nebraska beat...

By Jim Vokal

Bill to require video archive of legislative hearings and floor debate advances

Bill to require video archive of legislative hearings and floor debate advances

by Paul Hammel, Nebraska Examiner LINCOLN — The Nebraska Legislature would maintain a video archive of legislative debate and hearings under a bill advanced Thursday to debate. Legislative Bill 777 is portrayed as increasing transparency and keeping up with at least 46 other states that already keep a library of legislative proceedings. Supporters, including State...

In the Nebraska Examiner: Unicameral videos can strengthen First Amendment freedoms

In the Nebraska Examiner: Unicameral videos can strengthen First Amendment freedoms

Republished from the Nebraska Examiner Outlets like the Nebraska Examiner and the Flatwater Free Press exist because nonprofit foundations are recognizing that the traditional for-profit news model is in decline. Local newsrooms have been hollowed out around the country as media consumption habits have fundamentally changed.  People can instantly find any information they might want...

By Jim Vokal

Nebraska Forecasting Board Raises 2022 and 2023 Tax Revenue Projections Again

Nebraska Forecasting Board Raises 2022 and 2023 Tax Revenue Projections Again

The Nebraska Economic Forecasting Advisory Board met this week to forecast revenue figures that the Legislature will use as it takes up debate on the state’s mid-biennium budget in March. Revenue projections for the current fiscal year and FY2022-23 were raised based on anticipated increases across all tax receipt categories, including a projected $160 million...

By Nicole Fox

2022 Unicameral Halftime Report

2022 Unicameral Halftime Report

This week marked the halfway point in the 60-day session of the 107th Legislature. A total of 593 bills and 9 constitutional amendment proposals were introduced this year. These proposals joined the 522 carryover pieces of legislation from the 2021 90-day long session. Here are highlights of this session’s key Platte Institute priorities. We focused...

By Nicole Fox

4 Smart Ways Blueprint Nebraska Fixes Our Tax System

4 Smart Ways Blueprint Nebraska Fixes Our Tax System

Nebraska’s tax system funds critical government services. Though few people enjoy paying taxes, it’s worth tolerating a certain level of grumbling—and a certain level of sacrifice—to meet our commitments to the common good.  But for a long time, many different groups of Nebraskans have been trying to tell their leaders they’re not happy with the...

By Jim Vokal

Voters support Blueprint Nebraska by 4 to 1 margin

Voters support Blueprint Nebraska by 4 to 1 margin

In a December 2021 poll, Nebraskans said there’s a relationship between the state’s high taxes and its economic challenges with growing the workforce and population. These voters agreed that eliminating state income taxes on the first $50,000 individuals earn would help us complete for workers. These are the same 812 voters who previously told us...

By Jim Vokal

Nebraskanomics: Sen. Anna Wishart on Regulatory Sandboxes

Nebraskanomics: Sen. Anna Wishart on Regulatory Sandboxes

A Nebraska state senator is proposing one way state agencies can ready the rulemaking process for changes in technology, and make sure innovative firms or business models aren’t stifled by outdated regulations. Click here to read a transcript of this episode. You can also listen to the audio version of Nebraskanomics on Apple Podcasts and...

Nebraska’s January tax receipts see 10% boost over projections

Nebraska’s January tax receipts see 10% boost over projections

This week, the Nebraska Department of Revenue released its monthly revenue receipts report for January 2022. Although sales and use tax revenues were 16.1% below forecast, net revenues for January 2022 were $495 million, or 10% above the certified forecast of $450 million. The breakdown of January 2022 net revenue receipts are as follows: Net Sales...

By Nicole Fox

Civic Nebraska’s Nancy Petitto on The Unify Challenge

Civic Nebraska’s Nancy Petitto on The Unify Challenge

Civic Nebraska is sponsoring an online activity that pairs up Nebraskans from different points of view, to create conversation and build understanding statewide. Nancy Petitto joins Jim Vokal to discuss The Unify Challenge. Visit UnifyNebraska.com to learn more and find sign-up information. A transcript of this discussion is available below. You can also listen to the audio...

Jim Vokal’s Weekly Email: Inheritance Tax Update

Jim Vokal’s Weekly Email: Inheritance Tax Update

Dear Friend, Last week, senators gave final approval to Sen. Rob Clements’ LB310, which cuts Nebraska’s county-levied inheritance tax. Here are the provisions that would take effect in 2023: Reduces the top inheritance tax rate from 18% to 15%. Reduces the middle rate from 13% to 11%. The exemption amount for the 15% rate will...

By Jim Vokal

Nebraskanomics: Ernie Goss & Erin Norman on Inflation

Nebraskanomics: Ernie Goss & Erin Norman on Inflation

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss and Erin Norman, a polling and messaging expert for the State Policy Network, join Jim to discuss the impact of rising inflation on Nebraska’s economy and voter sentiments. A transcript of this discussion is available below. You can also listen to the audio version of Nebraskanomics on Apple Podcasts and...

Unicameral approves inheritance tax cut

Unicameral approves inheritance tax cut

The Nebraska Legislature has given final approval to Sen. Robert Clements’ Legislative Bill 310, which reduces Nebraska’s county-levied inheritance tax. The bill passed by a vote of 37-1. It now awaits the governor’s signature. With an amendment provided by the Legislature’s Revenue Committee and provisions from another inheritance tax-related bill by state Sen. Wendy DeBoer,...

By Jim Vokal

Bill would post Nebraska Legislature videos online

Bill would post Nebraska Legislature videos online

Senators serving on the Unicameral’s Executive Board of the Legislative Council recently met for a public hearing on Sen. Tom Brewer’s LB777, a bill that would require the creation of an online video archive of their proceedings in time for the 2023 session. The Executive Board is a special legislative committee that deals with the...

By Nicole Fox