Open the history books and pencil in - LB974 of 2020, property tax relief proposal

From the folks who brought you LB775 in 1987, LB1059 in 1990 and LB840 in 1991, comes another contender for a household word, LB974.

That’s the Nebraska Legislature Revenue Committee’s 2020 plan to reduce local property taxes by increasing state aid to schools. Six committee members are sponsoring the bill. Omaha Republican Sen. John McCollister and Bellevue Democrat Sen. Sue Crawford declined. Speaker of the Legislature Jim Scheer of Norfolk wanted the bill on the fast track early in the session, eschewing the practice of saving major proposals until the final days.

Whether the bill is weighty enough to survive three rounds of debate and receive a signature from Governor Pete Ricketts remains to be seen. If it’s a strong enough proposal to head off a property tax ballot issue with a speculative $1.5 billion price tag, it just might earn a spot in the history book. Actually, there is no such book except in the minds of old reporters like me and a handful of retired senators and lobbyists who occasionally gather for coffee.


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