Nebraska state senators prioritizing property tax relief, eviction moratoriums in upcoming session

Nebraska Legislature to reconvene July 20
Nebraska Legislature to reconvene July 20(Jared Austin)
Published: Jan. 4, 2021 at 8:43 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Due to the pandemic, the last Nebraska legislative session ended four months later than expected. In two days, lawmakers will convene at the capitol as scheduled and there’s one topic that is still on the front of everyone’s minds.

Sen. John McCollister of Omaha said, “Taxes is always important.”

This comes after lawmakers agreed in the last session to increase the state’s property tax fund by $125 million. Sen. Tom Brandt of District 32 said more money needs to go to it.

“This is not just a rural problem anymore. This is across the entire state of Nebraska,” Sen. Brandt said.

Nebraskans can begin applying for a property tax credit in February. Sen. Brandt says he’s hopeful more is done this year.

”The second $125 maybe this year, but it’s a five-year horizon to get the second and third installments of the 125 million to get up to the 375 [million dollars],” Sen. Brandt said.

Property tax relief is just one issue at hand as Sen. John McCollister of Omaha plans to examine the $230 million in the state budget potentially going to a new prison.

Sen. McCollister said, “A lot of people in those prisons should not be there. community corrections is a better alternative.”

Sen. McCollister says prisons are overcrowded in Nebraska and it could be resolved with sentence reform.

Lincoln state senator Adam Morfeld said one of his main priorities is helping struggling renters and property owners by extending moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures.

“I look at this as someone who not only used to be a renter but somebody who’s been a landlord as well,” Sen. Morfeld said. “That’s why I’m including the moratorium on foreclosures and renters.”

He said people will still owe money for rent or mortgages. These moratoriums just give those affected by the pandemic time to pay it back.

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