Multiple property tax relief bills introduced

LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - On Thursday at the State Capitol legislators heard testimony for two different bills aimed at lowering property tax in Nebraska.

Lb-314 would take money from a bunch of places to put into a property tax relief fund but the main tax affected seems be to sales tax.

Including the state now collecting online sales taxes from out of state businesses.

Here are some of the other ways the state would get more money to offset property taxes.

The state sales tax would go up a half percent to 6% along with raising sales tax on things like alcohol.

The proposed 3% increase would be applied at the register. That would cost you about an extra 20 cents on a $7 six-pack.

The price of cigarettes would go up $1.50 a pack and a couple who makes over $500,000 would also have an added income tax.

But some people against the bill think there needs to be another way.

"Or the initial priority should be look elsewhere in terms of other proposals that will be before the legislature this session,” said Bryan Slone, who is against the bill.

"We really are struggling out in rural areas on our farms,” said Al Juhnke, who is in favor of the bill.

The bill would also eliminate sales tax on soft drinks, candy and 20 other exempted items.

All of that would add up to $267.8 Million going into the property tax credit fund.

Lb-497 would eliminate several sales tax exemptions and raise other sales taxes.

But this would really deal with the state aid formula.

Senator Curt Friesen who introduced the bill, says right now some schools in Nebraska only receive 1% of basic education funding from the state while others receive 100%.

Lb-497 would require every district to receive 50% basic funding from state aid.

That money would come from state tax dollars and more state aid while reducing property taxes.

The plan would increase the cigarette tax by $1.50 a pack and the tax on alcohol and spirits would go up 8.50.

It also repeals the $10,000 personal property tax exemption.

Senator Curt Friesen says Nebraska is too reliant on property taxes to fund schools and this bill can change that.

"We've all complained about property tax relief and right now Nebraska I think is the highest state in the country as far as property taxes and the state aide provided to k-12 is we're number 49,” said Sen. Friesen.

10/11 now was told the bill would generate an estimated $523 Million per year in additional money for allocation to schools.

This extra money would in turn allow communities to lower local property taxes.