Government Spending

Nebraska has spent half its CARES Act funds, but more transparency is needed

Nebraska has spent half its CARES Act funds, but more transparency is needed

Where did all the CARES Act money go in Nebraska? Federal taxpayers in Nebraska have a right to know the answer. The Platte Institute published a report calling for more transparency in mid-September, and less than a month later the state published its dashboard providing that added transparency. The state’s dashboard shows that $587 million...

By Sarah Curry

Local government spending dominates Nebraska’s state General Fund

Local government spending dominates Nebraska’s state General Fund

Your local property taxes go to your local community, and your state income and sales taxes pay for state services, right? Sometimes. But did you know that a significant amount of your state taxes are also redistributed back to local governments across Nebraska? According to a new report from the Nebraska Department of Revenue, in...

By Sarah Curry

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

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

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

Nebraska is in a relatively good revenue position compared with other states

Nebraska is in a relatively good revenue position compared with other states

Today is the new tax filing deadline in Nebraska. Today is also when the Department of Revenue released the state’s tax revenue figures for the month of June and for the last fiscal year (FY2019-2020). It is important to note that Nebraska’s phase 3 of directed health measures went into effect on June 22. So,...

By Sarah Curry

Linehan discusses property tax reform on Platte Institute webinar

Linehan discusses property tax reform on Platte Institute webinar

Nebraska Legislature Revenue Committee Chair Sen. Lou Ann Linehan joined Platte Institute CEO Jim Vokal on unresolved tax policy issues facing the Unicameral in its scheduled return later this month. On a webinar last week, Speaker Jim Scheer emphasized that property tax reform would be a key focus area before the legislative calendar came to an...

By Jaliya Nagahawatte

Nebraska PPP loan data show CARES Act tax policies are essential

Nebraska PPP loan data show CARES Act tax policies are essential

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is one of the largest parts of the federal government’s CARES Act relief legislation. The PPP provides loans intended to help small businesses—those with 500 or fewer employees—maintain their payroll, hire back any employees who were laid off, and cover applicable overhead expenses such as rent and utilities. Detailed data...

By Sarah Curry, Jaliya Nagahawatte

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

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.