Legislative Testimonies

Testimony for LR178: Nebraska’s Use of American Rescue Plan Act Funds

Testimony for LR178: Nebraska’s Use of American Rescue Plan Act Funds

Members of the Appropriations Committee, my name is Sarah Curry, and I am the policy director at the Platte Institute. I appreciate the invitation to provide comments on LR178. Overall, the Platte Institute’s philosophy for the use of these funds is not to grow government in a way that will burden future taxpayers or put...

By Sarah Curry

Testimony for LR261: Interim study examining Nebraska’s tax structure

Testimony for LR261: Interim study examining Nebraska’s tax structure

Chairwoman Linehan and members of the Revenue Committee, my name is Jim Smith, and I am the Chief Strategy Officer of the Platte Institute. Thank you for scheduling this hearing to examine the structure of Nebraska’s tax system and for your ongoing efforts to improve the State’s tax environment and competitive standing. As a Blueprint...

By Jim Smith

Legislative Testimony for LB433: Change the sales and use tax rate

Legislative Testimony for LB433: Change the sales and use tax rate

Nebraska’s sales tax regime is in serious need of reform and broadening the sales tax base is considered by many to be the most critical issue facing Nebraska public finance. The sales tax structure violates fundamental principles of sound tax policy, the most notable being neutrality. Nebraska has an increasingly service dominated economy, yet most...

By Sarah Curry

Legislative Testimony for LB432: Change income tax rates

Legislative Testimony for LB432: Change income tax rates

Many tax practitioners and scholars agree that Nebraska’s tax system needs reform. But reform cannot happen unless the principles of sound tax policy are at the forefront of the discussion. These principles are simplicity, transparency, neutrality, and stability. However, there is wide divergence between academic ideas of sound tax policy and what many groups impacted...

By Sarah Curry

Legislative Testimony for LB459, Change provisions relating to the cigarette tax and the Tobacco Products Tax Act and distribute tax proceeds as prescribed

Legislative Testimony for LB459, Change provisions relating to the cigarette tax and the Tobacco Products Tax Act and distribute tax proceeds as prescribed

It is a well-established and empirically supported statement that cigarette taxes are not a stable source of revenue. In the last decade, 85% of cigarette excise tax increases missed their revenue projections. There are 23 separate instances where there is state data that show how far states missed projections, and of those, only 4 experienced...

By Sarah Curry

Legislative Testimony for LR21CA: Constitutional amendment to require the State of Nebraska to pay all classroom expenses related to the operation of public elementary and secondary schools

Legislative Testimony for LR21CA: Constitutional amendment to require the State of Nebraska to pay all classroom expenses related to the operation of public elementary and secondary schools

The following is written testimony provided to the Nebraska Legislature’s Education Committee. Dear Chair Walz and Committee, Please accept this letter of SUPPORT for LR21CA. I request that this letter be included as part of the public hearing record. The Platte Institute’s motivation for supporting LR21CA is because of the excessive pressure Nebraskans feel about...

By Sarah Curry

Legislative Testimony for LB680: Change the corporate income tax rate

Legislative Testimony for LB680: Change the corporate income tax rate

We support LB680 because it follows the general principles of sound tax policy. Specifically, LB680 follows neutrality because it creates parity between the top corporate and personal income tax rate. Taxes should neither encourage nor discourage personal or business decisions, and the way the tax code is currently, there is a disincentive for businesses who...

By Sarah Curry

Legislative Testimony for LB625: Impose a surtax on certain taxable income and use the proceeds for early childhood education

Legislative Testimony for LB625: Impose a surtax on certain taxable income and use the proceeds for early childhood education

We are in opposition to LB625 because the surtax effectively creates a fifth individual income tax bracket. With this change, Nebraska’s top individual income tax rate would be higher than New York State, which had a net of more than half a million residents out-migrate over the past decade. While Nebraska’s first four individual income...

By Sarah Curry

Legislative Testimony for LB377: Change inheritance tax provisions

Legislative Testimony for LB377: Change inheritance tax provisions

Good morning, Chair Linehan and members of the Revenue Committee. I’m Sarah Curry, Policy Director at the Platte Institute and I am testifying in support of LB377. In the Platte Institute’s report, “Death and Taxes,” we discuss many of the reform options available to modernize the inheritance tax, while also reducing the burden on Nebraskans....

By Sarah Curry

Legislative Testimony for LB310: Change inheritance tax rates and exemption amounts

Legislative Testimony for LB310: Change inheritance tax rates and exemption amounts

Good morning, Chair Linehan and members of the Revenue Committee. I’m Sarah Curry, Policy Director at the Platte Institute and I am testifying in support of LB310. All of you should have received a copy of the Platte Institute’s most recent report detailing the inheritance tax at length. This tax, which was established in 1901,...

By Sarah Curry

Legislative Testimony for LB586: Require an annual report regarding police and firefighter retirement plans in certain cities

Legislative Testimony for LB586: Require an annual report regarding police and firefighter retirement plans in certain cities

Good afternoon, Chairman Kolterman and members of the Retirement Committee. My name is Sarah Curry, Policy Director at the Platte Institute, and I am testifying in support of LB586. In 1983, the Nebraska Legislature mandated all municipalities, with the exception of Omaha and Lincoln, to move future employees out of defined benefit pension systems.  Thankfully,...

By Sarah Curry

Legislative Testimony for LB390: Provide for credentials based on reciprocity and change requirements for credentials under the Uniform Credentialing Act

Legislative Testimony for LB390: Provide for credentials based on reciprocity and change requirements for credentials under the Uniform Credentialing Act

Chairman Arch and members of the committee, my name is Laura Ebke. I am the Senior Fellow at the Platte Institute. I am happy to be here today to testify in general support of LB390, as introduced, and thank Senator Murman for introducing it. For over four years, the Platte Institute has been working to...

By Laura Ebke

Legislative Testimony for LB631: Prohibit counties from prohibiting the use of residential property as short-term rentals

Legislative Testimony for LB631: Prohibit counties from prohibiting the use of residential property as short-term rentals

Chairman Brewer and members of the committee, my name is Laura Ebke. I am the Senior Fellow at the Platte Institute, and I am happy to be here today to testify in support of LB631 and thank Sen. Bostar for introducing it. Property rights are a foundational principle of our republic. In 2019, this Legislature...

By Laura Ebke

Legislative Testimony for LB644: Truth in Taxation

Legislative Testimony for LB644: Truth in Taxation

Good morning, Chair Linehan and members of the Revenue Committee. I’m Sarah Curry, Policy Director at the Platte Institute and I am testifying in support of LB644. This bill is an extension of LB103, which the body unanimously enacted in 2019. In short, it “puts teeth” in Nebraska’s property tax hearing requirements by adopting a...