Ricketts Tax Plan Pits Cities, Counties Against Farm Groups

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- City and county officials are voicing objections to Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts' property tax plan, which was endorsed by the state's largest agriculture groups.

Ricketts argued before a legislative committee Thursday that his proposal offers a balanced way to slow the growth of statewide property taxes.

The Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation and Nebraska Cattlemen Association support the plan. But Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler, La Vista Mayor Douglas Kindig and other officials say it would limit their flexibility.

The bill would prevent the combined taxable value of all the state's agricultural land from growing by more than 3 percent annually. It also would prevent local governments from exceeding several levy and budget limits without voter approval.