Budget Update

By: Andy Chaves
By: Andy Chaves

The Appropriations Committee will consider a budget proposition on Monday that has already been approved by Governor Johanns and committee chair Senator Roger Wehrbein.

The two main features of the proposal would include higher property taxes and either an income or sales tax increase. However, state aid to education, university spending, and most other state agencies would not have significant cuts this time around.

Lincoln Senator Chris Beutler, a member of the Appropriations Committee, says questions still remain about the proposal, but there is a good chance it will advance to the legislature soon. He says the fact that Wehrbein and Johanns have found an agreement is an encouraging sign.

A contributing factor to the budget this year is the low level nuclear waste suit facing the state. Some of the sales or income tax increase would go toward the reserve fund, which would be used to either balance the budget or to settle the suit.

The committee will discuss the budget proposal Monday morning before presenting it to the legislature.

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