Removing Barriers for Nebraskans

What you haven’t heard about the federal HEALS Act

What you haven’t heard about the federal HEALS Act

When Senate Republicans released their next relief package, called the HEALS Act or CARES 2, on July 27, a flurry of news stories were published about the contents. The new proposal is a $1 trillion package as a follow up to the CARES Act and a response to the House Democrats’ $3 trillion HEROES Act. Most...

By Sarah Curry

Property tax transparency measure gets 89% support at Northeast town hall

Property tax transparency measure gets 89% support at Northeast town hall

Voters and taxpayers from Northeast Nebraska joined the Platte Institute’s third Virtual Property Tax Town Hall of summer 2020, and like participants in the previous online events, they had the option to vote in five online straw polls about various property tax issues. While participants expressed similar levels of support for cutting government spending to...

By Adam Weinberg

Analysis: Property tax reform depends on economic recovery

Analysis: Property tax reform depends on economic recovery

Lawmakers are set to hold a hearing today on decoupling the state’s tax code from federal CARES Act tax policies that provide emergency economic relief to those most impacted by COVID-19, which will reduce business and employee Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) in one way or another. Because these CARES Act policies will reduce many Nebraskans’...

By Sarah Curry

Poll shows more voters oppose blocking COVID-19 business tax relief

Poll shows more voters oppose blocking COVID-19 business tax relief

NET’s Fred Knapp reported on Twitter this week about a tax issue poll conducted by the campaign committee of Nebraska state Sen. Lou Ann Linehan, who is also the chair of the Revenue Committee. According to the documents provided by the campaign, the poll was a telephone survey of 509 Nebraska voters conducted from July...

By Adam Weinberg

Why the CARES Act is a different situation than the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017

Why the CARES Act is a different situation than the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017

Nebraska, like every state, is experiencing economic uncertainty amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The state will need to use caution as it makes revenue and spending decisions throughout this crisis. However, several structural tax changes have already been made at the federal level that will promote a stronger economic recovery in Nebraska. On March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief,...

By Sarah Curry

Legislature may take a slice out of local pizza shop’s recovery

Legislature may take a slice out of local pizza shop’s recovery

Seven years ago, there was no Italian restaurant in Scottsbluff. Area diners craving lasagna or chicken parmesan were out of luck unless they wanted to put in the effort in their own kitchens. But then Melissa Schneider, a Scottsbluff native with a background in agricultural marketing, decided to try selling a different product. On a...

By Adam Weinberg, Sarah Curry

Forecasting board proposes confident outlook for Nebraska

Forecasting board proposes confident outlook for Nebraska

Normally the Nebraska Economic Forecasting Advisory Board would not meet in July, but because of the pandemic, the Legislature needed an update to know how to proceed with bills that would impact the budget amid the uncertain times. The last time the forecasting board met was in February and the revenue picture was very positive. This...

By Sarah Curry

Typical Douglas County property valuation hike nears 13%

Typical Douglas County property valuation hike nears 13%

If you are concerned about property taxes in Douglas County, the latest news isn’t the best. First, we learned that the Douglas County Assessor increased the valuations of existing residential properties by 7%. But the overall increase understates the impact on property owners. According to an Omaha World-Herald analysis of property valuations, a nearly 13%...

By Jim Vokal

Central Nebraskans enthusiastic about consumption tax, but mixed on ballot initiative

Central Nebraskans enthusiastic about consumption tax, but mixed on ballot initiative

Participants in the recent Central Nebraska Virtual Property Tax Town Hall voted in five online polls about a variety of property tax-related questions. As with all of the Virtual Town Halls the Platte Institute is hosting this summer, the polls from these events are only the opinions of participants who made an effort to attend...

By Adam Weinberg

Louisville voters reject a property tax increase amid the pandemic

Louisville voters reject a property tax increase amid the pandemic

As Nebraska legislators head back to Lincoln and into the last 17 days of their suspended regular session, they should keep in the back of their minds what happened in a Louisville special bond election on July 14. Louisville voters rejected a bond issue that would have allowed the district to build a new elementary...

By Sarah Curry, Laura Ebke