News Release: Platte Institute Testifies on Fee Waiver, License Compact and Ammo Tax
NEWS RELEASE from the Platte Institute
Contact: Adam Weinberg
Today’s Legislative Testimonies: LB834, LB894 & LB730
License Fee Waiver, EMS Compact & Tax on Ammo
LINCOLN, NE – The Platte Institute will testify at hearings for three legislative bills today in the Nebraska Legislature.
Platte Institute Director of Government Relations Nicole Fox will testify today in support of Sen. Sara Howard’s Legislative Bill 834. It will be heard in the Health and Human Services Committee at 1:30 p.m. in State Capitol room 1510, and is currently first on the agenda.
LB834 would allow a first-time job licensing fee waiver for low-income Nebraskans, members of military families, and Nebraskans between the ages of 18 and 25. A study by the Institute for Justice found that many lower-income occupations in Nebraska require state job licensing, with an average of 9 months of training, 1 exam, and $203 in fees needed to enter the licensed professions.
“The Platte Institute supports waiving these first year fees, or taxes, on government permission slips to earn a paycheck. The Platte Institute views LB834 as a win for workers, and it will help grow Nebraska’s economy,” said Nicole Fox.
Fox’s complete testimony supporting LB834 is now available on the Platte Institute website.
Fox will also testify in support of Sen. Sue Crawford’s Legislative Bill 894. It will be heard in the Health and Human Services Committee and is currently second on the agenda. LB894 would include Nebraska in an interstate compact for Emergency Medical Service responses across state lines.
While the bill would not create complete interstate licensing reciprocity, it would expedite the process for EMS personnel licensed in other states who may practice across state lines in authorized circumstances. Currently 12 states participate in the compact, including Kansas, Colorado and Wyoming. Similar legislation is currently being considered in Missouri.
Nicole Fox’s complete testimony supporting LB894 now available on the Platte Institute website.
And Platte Institute Policy Director Sarah Curry will testify in opposition to Sen. Justin Wayne’s Legislative Bill 730. The hearing will be held in the Revenue Committee at 1:30 p.m. in State Capitol room 1524. The bill is currently first on the agenda.
LB730 would establish a new 10 percent state excise tax on ammunition sold in Nebraska. Currently, ammunition is subject to a federal excise tax that is incorporated into the final retail price, and is also subject to Nebraska’s state and local sales taxes.
Revenues from the proposed excise tax would be used for conservation and violence prevention programs. Tax policy experts recommend the sparing use of excise taxes, and only in cases where consumers are compensating for a cost of using the product, called an externality, such as the excise tax on fuel paying for the upkeep of roads.
“The majority of ammunition is used by sportsmen and hunters, and will not be used in a violent crime, thus there is a very weak argument for ammunition externalities,” said Curry.
Instead, Curry says the tax will put Nebraska’s retailers at a disadvantage with neighboring states and online retailers who may not collect Nebraska sales taxes or the proposed excise taxe.
“Some buyers will be deterred from paying exorbitant rates to purchase ammunition, but it is more likely that business for ammunition will cross our borders and purchase ammunition in neighboring states, or purchase it online to circumvent the tax,” said Curry.
Sarah Curry’s complete legislative testimony opposing LB 730 is now available on the Platte Institute website.
Nicole Fox and Sarah Curry will be on site for comment on these topics. To schedule an interview outside the State Capitol, please contact Adam Weinberg at (402) 452-3737 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Platte Institute advances policies that remove barriers to growth and opportunity in Nebraska. Learn more at PlatteInstitute.org.