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 conclusion of the 2020 legislative session.
Lawmakers are expected to debate a property tax bill in the remaining days of the session, which was suspended in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Senators steering the legislation acknowledge, however, that the proposal does not yet have enough support to overcome a filibuster.
In recent years, the Platte Institute has hosted in-person town hall programs featuring lawmakers weighing in on issues including property taxes and job licensing reform. But with the widespread adoption of video conferencing and webinars in response to the need for social distancing, this year’s virtual town halls will allow more Nebraskans to get involved without leaving home.
The five Virtual Property Tax Town Halls are scheduled for the Western, Central, Northeast, and Southeast Nebraska regions, as well as the Omaha Metro area.
Town hall registrants will receive a confirmation email inviting them to complete a survey where they can submit stories, questions, or ideas about property tax reform they’d like to share at the event.
In addition to being able to request time to speak on camera or by audio, participants can submit questions in writing or through Zoom’s Q&A text feature. All town hall participants will be able to vote in live Zoom polls on proposed property tax ideas.
Here’s the schedule for each virtual town hall:
Monday, July 13, 2020, 7:30pm CT/6:30pm MT
Western Nebraska Virtual Property Tax Town Hall
Monday, July 20, 2020, 6:30pm CT/5:30pm MT
Central Nebraska Virtual Property Tax Town Hall
Monday, July 27, 2020, 6:30pm CT/5:30pm MT
Northeast Nebraska Virtual Property Tax Town Hall
Monday, August 3, 2020, 6:30pm CT/5:30pm MT
Southeast Nebraska Virtual Property Tax Town Hall
Monday, August 10, 2020, 6:30pm CT/5:30pm MT
Omaha Metro Virtual Property Tax Town Hall
In the Platte Institute’s weekly email, Platte Institute Chief Executive Officer Jim Vokal wrote that the online events give voters the floor, since Nebraskans may have to work at the grassroots level to see major changes to property taxes.
“My goal is that our Virtual Property Tax Town Halls help to create a broader grassroots consensus on property tax reform that reaches every part of our state,” wrote Vokal.
“Of course, there will never be a property tax reform idea that 100% of us will agree with. But maybe there will be some ideas that 60% or 70% us can agree to, that point us in the right direction, and make Nebraska an even better place to live.”