Testimony on LB158: Change provisions relating to the assessed value of real property
Members of the Revenue Committee, I am here to testify on LB158 in a neutral capacity.
Nebraska currently has the 7th highest property tax in the nation and is in need of property tax reform that addresses the underlying problem of a local tax system that imposes too great a burden on the state’s economic growth.
LB159 proposes a cap or freeze on existing property taxes for a period of four years. This will keep the amount of property taxes paid constant for that timeframe, which is a welcomed relief for many of the property taxpayers across Nebraska. Every year we hear of farmers whose tax bills fluctuate as much as $40,000 in one year. Having four years of certainty will be a form of relief for these taxpayers.
The reason for our neutral testimony is because while LB158 offers temporary valuation stability, it will not result in lasting property tax reform.
Due to the state’s quickly increasing valuations, taxpayers should expect to see a significant property tax increase after the four years has expired. While we would hope the Legislature would come to some agreement on a property tax reform plan during this four year ‘freeze’, that is not guaranteed.
Thank you and I would be happy to take any questions from the committee.