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Thank You Nebraska Legislature – April 17, 2012

The Lincoln Independent Business Association (LIBA) would like to thank the Nebraska Legislature for working hard on behalf of Nebraska’s taxpayers during this legislative session. LIBA recognizes the sacrifice that each Senator has made to provide a successful session, resulting in several positive changes for Nebraskans. Here are just a few.

 The Legislature passed an occupation tax law, which requires a vote of the people to determine whether a municipality can impose an occupation tax. The bill, LB745, also gives Nebraskans the benefit of knowing the specific reason for the tax, how much it will cost them and how long they will be paying the tax.

The Lancaster County retirement match bill sailed through the Legislature. LB867 allows Lancaster County to negotiate their employee retirement match down from 150 percent to 100 percent.

We applaud the Revenue Committee for not voting LB1098 (an attempt to repeal Senator Deb Fischer’s roads bill) out of committee. The roads bill (LB84 or the Build Nebraska Act) ensures that a quarter-cent of state sales tax be earmarked for needed road construction and highway safety. In the past 11 years, 17 people have died in accidents on Hwy 2. The roads bill provides needed funding for the construction of Lincoln’s South Beltway to alleviate this concern. We support every reasonable effort from the Legislature to keep LB84 in place.

LIBA continues to oppose LB1137, which is the proposed Nebraska Land Bank Act. The bill got out of the Urban Affairs Committee and is currently scheduled for an interim study this summer. Land banks purposely hold property for future development, act as land speculators, spend millions maintaining their own property (which is off of the tax rolls), and compete with the private sector. There may be an issue with tax-delinquent properties in North Omaha, according to Senator Heath Mello, but land banks are not the solution. We look forward to working with you on this issue next year.

LIBA appreciates and honors the Nebraska Legislature’s dedication to provide increased freedom forNebraska entrepreneurs and increased savings for Nebraska taxpayers in 2012. From all of us in the LIBA organization, job well done.