Property tax solution? Put a lid on it?

Not so fast!

Two words guaranteed to start a discussion anywhere in Nebraska: property tax. Two words guaranteed to escalate that into an argument: local control.

A proposed constitutional amendment, promoted by the governor in his State of the State address and recently presented to a legislative committee, seems simple enough. It says the total amount of property tax revenue raised by a political subdivision in any fiscal year shall not be more than three percent greater than the amount raised in the prior fiscal year. Except for amounts approved by voters, amounts needed to pay bonded indebtedness, and amounts raised on real growth value.

That’s a lid. Lids have been touted for years, been debated and defeated. Those implemented were often pried loose. The track record is sketchy. One of the reasons, according to the Open Sky Policy Institute and other think tanks, lids pose harmful threats to local government and the principle of local control.


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