Removing Barriers for Nebraskans

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

Arizona law avoids regulatory capture of job licensing laws

Arizona law avoids regulatory capture of job licensing laws

An Arizona bill just signed into law promises to reduce the dangers of “regulatory capture” in occupational licensing boards. Political scientists and public policy institutes concerned with transparency in governance often talk about the notion of regulatory capture. A quick Google search to define this term yields results that are different in tone, but point...

By Laura Ebke

Hall County property taxpayers discuss impact of rising valuations

Hall County property taxpayers discuss impact of rising valuations

The Grand Island Independent and NTV both reported on Tuesday’s meeting of the Hall County Commissioners, where taxpayers and community advocates expressed their concerns with proposed increases in local property assessments. Property valuations are conducted by county assessors. Their assessments are then multiplied by property tax rates, often called levies, set by locally elected boards...

By Adam Weinberg

Sales tax receipts hit harder in most populated Nebraska counties

Sales tax receipts hit harder in most populated Nebraska counties

Despite COVID-19, Nebraska saw an increase in taxable sales revenue for March of 2020. However, urban areas in Nebraska appear to have taken a heavy hit as buyers react to COVID-19 restrictions.  Nebraska’s sales tax usually operates as one of the more stable sources of state revenue. That fact is significant when social distancing policy...

By Jaliya Nagahawatte

Academics agree: occupational licensing reform is important

Academics agree: occupational licensing reform is important

During the last weekend in May, I had the opportunity to participate in an academic conference focused on occupational regulations. The conference, co-hosted by the Knee Center for the Study of Occupational Regulation at St. Francis University and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Business, was a tremendous opportunity for scholars to show numerous streams...

By Laura Ebke

Platte Institute discusses transparency for federal funds on KGFW’s Talk of the Town

Platte Institute discusses transparency for federal funds on KGFW’s Talk of the Town

Platte Institute CEO Jim Vokal joined Ryan Boyd with KFGW Kearney’s “Talk of the Town” to discuss the Platte Institute’s call for creating an inventory of the $10.8 billion in federal funds allocated to Nebraska for COVID-19 relief and the road to recovery in the current recession.