The state senator who sponsored Gov. Dave Heineman's tax cut plan says lawmakers have reached a compromise and advanced a bill that will allow them to lower taxes.
Bellevue Sen. Abbie Cornett tells 10/11, "It's not what we wanted but it's a good compromise and it is a good first step toward giving the citizens in our state tax relief. The overall package we introduced had a lot of facets that improved our rating nationally and made yourself more competitive for business."
Heineman's original plan would have cost the state $327 million
over a three-year period. The original measure would lower
corporate and individual income tax rates, and eliminate an
inheritance tax imposed by counties.
Now the amended version only restructures individual income tax brackets.
The new, whittled-down proposal would phase in lower individual
income tax rates over three years, for a total of $97 million.
It would not affect corporate income taxes or the inheritance tax.
Senators debated the tax cut plan for three hours Tuesday afternoon and evening.
During debate Sen. Tony Fulton of Lincoln said, "Allowing people to keep more of their money is what's best for our state."
Sen. Jeremy Nordquist of Omaha told Senators, "I wouldn't support this if it didn't give tax cuts to people who need it the most."
But Sen. Norm Wallman couldn't support the plan, "I'm deeply concerned about a tax cut after a recession."
Senator Wallman's concern was so great, he introduced another amendment which would have postponed the tax cut for one year. The amendment failed.
While the bill advanced, there are still some details that need to be ironed out--how much each person will keep each month depending on the new tax brackets.
Some debate indicated it would be two dollars a month for the first year and four dollars for the second year.
The other wild card, how much the deficit could grow--some discussion put it at $556 million dollars.
This is a non-budget year, so it will be debated and set next session.
Senator Cornett expects the bill to be debated in select file sometime later this week.