More Money, More Spending
The Nebraska Economic Forecasting Board met again to adjust their revenue predictions for this fiscal year (ending June 30) and FY2021-22 and FY2022-23. Holy Hanna! They increased projected receipts for this fiscal year by another $90 million. Evidently, both corporate and individual income tax receipts are on a roll.
The Legislature is smack dab in the middle of resolving where to spend the previous $211 million surplus, so this announcement is felicitous (looked that one up in dictionary.com). Maybe a few million will find its way to the Legislature’s Rainy Day Fund but look for most of the newfound money to be spent on programs that save something, someone, or hopefully provide more property tax relief.
The kids are back Tuesday for Day 71, and two spending bills for the next biennial budget are on the agenda. LB454 (Friesen) would cut $88 million in property taxes for K-12 education by shifting an equal amount of state sales and income tax revenue to the education coffers. LB566 (McDonnell) creates a $19 million construction fund for “arts, culture, or the humanities, including any organization formed to develop and promote the work of artists and the humanities in various visual and performing forms, such as film, sculpture, dance, painting, horticulture, multimedia, poetry, photography, performing arts, zoology, or botany. Tough call.
Toddlers have not been ignored in this session. LB152, introduced by Sen. Julie Slama of Peru, adopts the federal standard for consumer fireworks. Upon the Governor’s signature, our fireworks stands can sell the same explosives we buy for our kids in Missouri and South Dakota. The July 4 holiday will be even more special!
Approved by the Governor
- LB177 (Lindstrom) SUPPORT – Increases the time for the perfection of Fertilizer and Agricultural Chemical Liens, and increases the time for the perfection of Seed Lien or Electrical Power/Energy Liens from the current sixty (60) days to one hundred twenty (120) days after the last delivery of goods or services covered by these respective liens.
Presented to the Governor
- LB507 (Bostelman) (Natural Resources Priority) SUPPORT
- AM256 (Hughes) Adds antelope and elk to depredation season. Also redefines elector for any irrigation district which borders another state, comprises less than 2,000 acres and one-half or more landowners, etc., are not Nebraska residents.
- AM365 (Hughes) One-time fund transfer from the Water Sustainability Fund to the Department of Natural Resources.
- AM567 (J. Cavanaugh) The use of seed that is treated, as defined in section 81-2,147.01, in the production of agricultural ethyl alcohol shall be prohibited if such use results in the generation of a byproduct that is deemed unsafe for livestock consumption or land application.
- AM859 (Hughes) Provides that the bill, as amended, becomes law upon the Governor’s signature.
- LB644 (B. Hansen Priority) MONITOR – Property Tax Request Act to increase transparency for impacted political subdivisions that raise their property tax levies.
- AM755 (Halloran) Better defines political subdivision, public meeting criteria, property tax requests, and public notification.
- AM854 (Halloran) When property tax valuation, as determined by a county assessor, is deemed excessive, the overpayment amount shall be returned to the taxpayer. The unpaid balance shall accrue nine percent interest. Political subdivisions can no longer claim hardship to delay repayment of funds.
- AM1173 (B. Hansen) Watered down version of the original bill.
- LB84 (Bostelman) (Speaker Priority) MONITOR – Changes provisions relating to tax incentive performance audits and redefines a term under the ImagiNE Nebraska Act
- LB432 (Revenue Committee Priority) – MONITOR – Income tax shell bill.
- AM774 The following bills on our tracking sheet are amended into LB432:
- LB564 (McDonnell) Adds apprenticeship programs to the definition of qualified higher education expense in the Nebraska Educational Savings Plan Trust (NEST)
- LB597 (Albrecht) Provides a $2,000 income tax credit to a parent of a stillborn child.
- LB347 (Lindstrom) Amended version: Dividends deemed to be received include income included in federal income under section 951A of the Internal Revenue Code net of the deduction in section 250(a)(1)(B) of the code.
- LB680 (Linehan) Beginning 1/1/2022, the income tax rate would be reduced to 5.58% on the first $100,000 of taxable income and 6.84% on all taxable income over $100,000.
- LB90 (Halloran) MONITOR – Amends the Nebraska Pesticide Act by reallocating the pesticide registration fee distribution. It further amends the Nebraska Commercial Fertilizer and Soil Conditioner Act by allowing the Director to adjust the inspection fee each July 1.
- LB91 (Brandt) MONITOR – Expands the date after germination or viability testing that native flower and grass seeds may continue to be sold or offered for sale without retesting and allowing seed viability testing instead of germination rate testing for certain seeds.
- AM96 Defines native and nonnative plant species, seed germination, storage, testing, viability, and sales.
- LB290 (M. Cavanaugh) OPPOSE – Adopts the Paid Family & Medical Leave Insurance Act.
- LR11CA (Erdman Priority Resolution) MONITOR – Resolution for a constitutional amendment for a consumption tax. LR11CA changes the way taxes are collected and replaces the income tax, the sales tax, the property tax, and the inheritance tax with a consumption tax and directs the Legislature to enact a consumption tax.
Held In Committee
- LB52 (Lathrop) MONITOR – Immunity for injury or death resulting from COVID-19 exposure.
- LB79 (Briese) MONITOR – Changes the minimum amount of relief provided under the Property Tax Credit Act.
- LB133 (Erdman) MONITOR – Adopts a consumption tax and eliminates other taxes.
- LB139 (Briese) (Slama Priority) MONITOR – Provides general safe harbor and premises liability protections on potential COVID-19 lawsuits.
- LB329 (Wayne) MONITOR – The minimum average wholesale gasoline price would be $2.44.
- AM411 The amendment provides employers with tax incentives for hiring felons, including those on parole or probation.
- LB422 (Briese) MONITOR – Reduce state sales tax from 5.5 cents to 5 cents and eliminate some sales tax exemptions.
- LB430 (Revenue) MONITOR – Property tax shell bill.
- LB433 (Revenue) MONITOR – Sales tax shell bill.
- LB483 (J Cavanaugh) MONITOR – Creates a $250,000 climate change study and plan.
- LB543 (Brandt) SUPPORT – Agricultural Equipment Right-To-Repair-Act.
- AM284 – Compreshesive rewrite including definitions of documentation, fair and reasonable terms, software, etc.
- LB622 (Friesen) MONITOR – Limits real property valuations’ growth and provides adjustments to assessed values.
- LB634 (J. Cavanaugh) OPPOSE – Provides a cause of action for unsafe disposal of treated seed. The bill is no longer in play due to the passage of Sen. Cavanaugh’s AM567 to LB507.
- LB672 (Murman) SUPPORT – Changes the sales and use tax exemption on agricultural machinery and equipment.
- LR5 (Gragert) MONITOR – Recommendations from the Healthy Soils Task Force delivered to the Legislature.
- LB239 (Hilkemann) MONITOR – Restricts phone use to hands-free only while driving.
- LB625 (Vargas) MONITOR – Imposes a surtax on certain taxable income and uses the tax proceeds for early childhood education.