Bill to increase notice of unpaid property taxes advances

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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- Nebraska lawmakers have advanced a bill to increase notification requirements for home- and landowners whose property taxes are delinquent.

The measure won first-round approval Tuesday on a 35-0 vote.

It was introduced following a Nebraska Supreme Court case involving a 94-year-old widow who lost her family's longtime farm because of unpaid taxes.

An investment company acquired the $1.1 million property after paying $50,000 in back taxes and interest, even though the widow's doctor testified that she was in cognitive decline. Family members say she had the money to pay the taxes but wasn't aware she owed it, and they assumed a bank was paying them out her trust funds.

Lawmakers say they've heard from constituents who fell into similar situations in different parts of the state.