LB775 Repeal Attempt Fails

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A group trying to repeal a state program that gives tax breaks to big businesses failed to gather enough signatures to place the issue on the November ballot.

That's the word from The Stop Big Business Subsidies: Repeal LB775 coalition. The group includes Nebraskans for Peace and the state employees union.

It had until Friday to gather the required 76,000 signatures. The group said it gathered only about 50,000.

LB775, which is officially known as the Employment and Investment Growth Act, was passed in 1988. It gives tax breaks to businesses that locate or expand in Nebraska.

About $1.5-billion in tax credits and refunds have been extended to companies under the program.

Companies that have qualified include Cabela's, Cargill, IBP and ConAgra Foods.

The business commuity defends the law, saying it is a needed economic development tool the state must use in order to compete for jobs.

The coalition says it is wrong to grant such incentives while the state struggles to balance its budget with cuts to education and other programs.