ARPA (Not The Cryptocurrency)
The Legislature reconvenes on Tuesday, Day 45 of this short (60-days) session, and that Window O’ Opportunities is quickly sliding shut.
In this the second year of Nebraska’s biennial budget, the state coffers are utterly flush with one-time cash. The cash reserve, or Rainy Day Fund, stands at $997.5 million today, and the projection for FY 2023 is $1.343 billion. But, not to worry, the Governor and 49 state senators have plans to spend down that reserve by perhaps a third.
Then there’s the one-time $1.04 billion from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Not unexpected, state and local government entities submitted requests for three times the amount of available funds.
In a short legislative session, the budget must advance from Select File (round 2 of 3) by Day 50. That means the bill must advance by Friday, Day 49. So the Speaker intends to move the non-ARPA budget to Final Reading on Thursday. The ARPA budget bill LB 1014 will not be on General File until Tuesday, but Speaker Hilgers wants to move it to Final Reading on Friday as well.
LB 1014 is designated as a Speaker Major Proposal to eliminate some of the nonsense that some in the body would undoubtedly attempt. This move allows him to rearrange and even ignore nonsensical senator amendments. Brilliantly, every new ARPA spending proposal must include the one-time cost as well as the budget cuts that fund the proposal.
Look for a trifecta compromise that reduces property, income, and Social Security taxes. You will know it when Senators Linehan, Friesen, and Lindstrom group hug under the balcony.
ARPA, Making Your Dreams Come True!
- LB925 (Gragert Priority) Resilient Soils and Water Quality Act to accelerate the use of best management practices for healthy soil. Appropriates $250,000 per year for five years.
- 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. Defines native and nonnative plant species, seed germination, storage, testing, viability, and sales.
- LB805 (Hughes) (Agriculture Committee Priority) Changes provisions relating to the Noxious Weed Control Act and management of black-tailed prairie dogs.
- LB939 (Linehan) (Revenue Committee Priority) – Income tax cuts:
- Corporate income tax: 5.58% under $100,000. Above $100,000: 7.5% in 2022, 7.0% in 2023, 6.5% in 2024, 6.14% in 2025, 5.84% in 2026.
- Personal income tax: Above the top rate of $58,000 (married filing jointly): 6.84% in 2022, 6.34 in 2023, 6.14 in 2024, and 5.84% in 2025..
- LB290 (M. Cavanaugh) Oppose – Adopts the Paid Family & Medical Leave Insurance Act.
- LB543 (Brandt Priority) Support – Agricultural Equipment Right-To-Repair-Act. See AM1800.
- LB730 (Lindstrom) Revenue Committee Priority See AM2087 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.
- LB806 (Bostelman) Provisions relating to land drainage by a landowner. See AM1979 “landowner shall not drain such landowner’s land using any pump or powered system if such drainage system would cause injury or harm to any other person.”
- 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.
- LB1014 (Speaker Hilgers at the Request of the Governor) Appropriations Committee Priority. The Governor’s recommendation to appropriate federal funds in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“ARPA”). The State and Local Fiscal Recovery Program (“SLFRP”) allocated funding to both state and local governmental entities. The State of Nebraska, 93 counties, 4 metro cities, and 525 localities identified as “non-entitlement units of government” were eligible for a total award of $1.7 billion. The State of Nebraska has received $520 million. An additional $520 million is expected by May 2022.
- Support Public Health Response for COVID-19 mitigation efforts.
- Negative Economic Impacts to workers, families, small businesses and non-profits, etc.
- Replace Revenue Loss for government services in general fund revenue reductions.
- Premium Pay for Essential Workers – Support for workers who bear the greatest health risks.
- Water, Sewer, and Broadband Infrastructure for clean drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure; provide new and expanded broadband access.
- LB1023 (Hilgers) McDonnell Priority STARWARS Lower Platte River Lake Development: construction of a combined reservoir within the floodplain that will create a 4,000-acre lake to provide new development, recreation, flood control, and water quality. Lewis and Clark State Recreation Area: marina projects to expand water access and recreational opportunities. Lake McConaughy: marina projects to expand water access and recreation. Niobrara State Park: A new event center and lodge.
- LR264CA (Erdman Priority) Constitutional amendment prohibits the imposition of taxes other than retail consumption taxes and excise taxes.
Held In Committee
- LB52 (Lathrop) Monitor – Immunity for injury or death from COVID-19 exposure.
- LB79 (Briese) Monitor – Changes the minimum amount of relief provided in the Property Tax Credit Act.
- 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.
- LB761 (Dorn) 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.
- LB941 (Slama) Sales and use tax exemption for net wrap.
- LB987 (Briese) Prohibits school districts from raising property taxes beyond 3% growth.
- LB1030 (Friesen) Exempts all tangible personal property from property tax.
- LB1074 (Bostelman) $50 million in grants to irrigation districts for repair or construction of any headgate, flume, diversion structure, check valve, or any other physical structure used for irrigation