Gotta Get A Boat
Big idea! Big water! Big price tag! Last week, Speaker Hilgers cast $200 million in his wake by introducing LB406 and LB1023. The plan is to build marinas and upgrades at Lake McConaughy and Lewis and Clark Lake and a lodge and event center at Niobrara State Park. Toss in the price of a couple of studies for a new 3,600-acre, seven-mile-long sandpit lake in Sarpy County, and we will all be shopping for 24 foot Malibu Wakesetters!
The public hearings saw a brigade of giddy economic developers from Keith County (Ogallala) and Knox County (Center). They proclaimed, “population growth and prosperity will abound if only they score some of that cash.”
On the other hand, the Nebraska Chapter of the Sierra Club opposed population growth and prosperity. They particularly dislike the development of the new lake for recreation, fishing, and new homes. Testifier, Al Davis, suggested devastation from the likes of silt infiltration, invasive fish species, altered groundwater table, flooding, threats to downstream life, and even pestilence. I apologize. Al did not mention pestilence.
Omaha depends on the Platte River for half of its water supply. Lincoln pipes 100% of their water needs from the Platte. The proposed lake could affect those cities’ ability to pump sufficient amounts of potable water. As expected, water utility employees from both cities testified. They want a $20 million study and access to more water before they are happy.
Potentially affected Sarpy County land and homeowners testified as well. They are in the crosshairs of a transformative project with developers and speculators circling. Meanwhile, the new lake has yet to be mapped, surveyed, studied, or even approved for funding by the Legislature.
These people are in a tough spot, especially with the threat of future eminent domain. Fortunately, they have someone who will cover their backs, Speaker Hilgers. They can trust Mike to do the right thing for them. Plus, he will surely be Nebraska’s next Attorney General. So they have that going for them.
- 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.
- LB543 (Brandt) Support – Agricultural Equipment Right-To-Repair-Act.
- AM284 – Comprehensive rewrite, including definitions of documentation, fair and reasonable terms, software, etc.
- AM1800 – Another comprehensive rewrite.
- LB290 (M. Cavanaugh) Oppose – Adopts the Paid Family & Medical Leave Insurance Act. Won’t pass.
- LB925 (Gragert) Gragert Priority Resilient Soils and Water Quality Act and state intent regarding appropriations of $250,000 per year for five years.
- LB939 (Linehan) As amended by the Committee, the 6.84% top individual tax rate would reduce to 6.34% in 2023, 6.14% in 2024, and 5.84% in 2025. The 5.58% tax rate on corporate income under $100,000 remains. The corporate tax rate on income over $100,000 is 7.5%. In 2023, that top rate would be 7%. In 2024, 6.5%. In 2025, 6.14%, and in 2026, 5.84%.
- LB986 (Briese Priority) – Failed to Advance – Limits the property tax request for a school district by its property tax request authority. The limit does not apply to the tax request required to retire bonded indebtedness.
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 in the Property Tax Credit Act.
- LB133 (Erdman) Monitor – Adopts a consumption tax and eliminates other taxes.
- LB329 (Wayne) Monitor – The minimum average wholesale gasoline price would be $2.44.
- AM411 Employer tax incentives for hiring felons, including those on parole or probation.
- LB422 (Briese) Monitor – Reduces state sales tax from 5.5 cents to 5 cents and eliminates several sales tax exemptions.
- LB483 (J Cavanaugh) Monitor – Creates a $250,000 climate change study and plan.
- LB622 (Friesen) Monitor – Limits growth in property valuations and provides adjustments to assessed values.
- LB694 (Blood) Provides a statute of limitations for exposure to hazardous or toxic chemicals, prescription drugs, or medical devices.
- LB730 (Lindstrom) An employer who employs a qualified apprentice or trainee for at least seven months of a taxable year is allowed a $1,000 nonrefundable credit against the income tax paid.
- LB761 (Dorn) Hearing 02/15/22 The Precision Agriculture Infrastructure Grant Act provides $10 million for agricultural producers to lead the nation in precision ag connectivity, sustainability, traceability, and autonomy. In addition, to provide high-speed internet service to high-cost and remote areas.
- LB805 (Hughes) Change provisions relating to prioritization for applications and intent to appropriate under the Noxious Weed Control Act.
- LB806 (Bostelman) Provisions relating to land drainage by the landowner.
- LB941 (Slama) Sales and use tax exemption for net wrap.
- LB987 (Briese) Prohibits school districts from raising property taxes beyond 3% growth.
- LB1023 (Hilgers) McDonnell Priority 3,600 surface acre lake near Linoma.
- LB1030 (Friesen) Exempts all tangible personal property from property tax.
- LB1074 (Bostelman) Would provide $50 million in grants to irrigation districts to be used for repair or construction of any headgate, flume, diversion structure, check valve or any other physical structure used for irrigation projects.