Nebraska Legislature Debates “Transformative” Tax Package for Property Owners, Faces Opposition from Businesses and Consumers

Property tax relief bill proposes shifting burden to sales taxes, raising concerns for business owners

The Nebraska Legislature is currently debating a legislative package aimed at providing property tax relief to residents of the state. Governor Jim Pillen has described the proposed tax package as “historic” and “transformational,” emphasizing the need for relief in Nebraska’s tax system, which some have compared to a lopsided stool with too much pressure on property owners.

However, organizations like the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce have expressed opposition to shifting the tax burden to consumers through sales tax increases. Business owners are concerned about specific hikes, such as a proposed 100% tax on CBD and hemp products, which could lead to a decrease in sales tax revenue as businesses struggle to stay afloat. Sarah Linden, CEO of Grateful Green, has highlighted the potential negative impact this proposed tax increase could have on lower to middle-income individuals who rely on these products for medical purposes.

At Brewsky’s Food and Spirits, owner Brian Kitten has expressed concern about a proposed 20% tax on games of skill machines, which he believes could negatively impact his ability to keep his business running. Kitten emphasized the importance of these machines in generating revenue, especially during challenging times like the pandemic. He fears that implementing this tax could lead to further financial difficulties for his business.

The bill is still subject to change while being debated by senators, who may spend several days adjusting the language and specifics of the legislation. However, the goal remains to provide much-needed property tax relief to Nebraskans, though the path to achieving this relief is still being discussed in the legislative chamber.

Sophia Reynolds

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