Lawmakers Putting Finishing Touches on State Budget

Date: March 26, 2021

NFIB’s Small Business Day at the Capitol event, April 7. Register now.

State Director Bob Hallstrom reports from Lincoln on the small-business agenda for the legislative week ending March 26

The Legislature concluded its work for the week on Thursday afternoon and will return on Monday to continue processing priority bills. Thus far, the body has advanced 23 of the 104 designated priority bills beyond the General File stage of debate. The initial “Consent Calendar” of the year is scheduled for Monday, with seven bills on the Agenda under this streamlined process.

Budget Debate Just Around the Corner

The Appropriations Committee is putting the finishing touches on the proposed state budget and is expected to advance its package of bills to the floor early next week.

The proposed budget includes allocations for:

  • more funding for Property Tax Relief ($630 million per year)
  • additional money to the Cash Reserve (Rainy-Day Fund)
  • fully funding the school funding formula (TEEOSA)
  • provider rate increases.

Lawmakers will also have $210 million for other legislative “spending” priorities or to fund other tax relief proposals.

Tax Relief Bill Advances
  • Legislative Bill 387 – Military Retirement
    • The Legislature has given second-round approval to LB 387, a bill introduced by Sen. Tom Brewer (Gordon) and designated as a priority by Sen. Tim Gragert (Creighton), which would, for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2022, exclude 100 percent (was 50 percent) of military retirement benefit income to the extent included in federal adjusted gross income.
Property Tax Transparency
  • Legislative Bill 644 – Property Tax Request Act
    • The Revenue Committee has advanced LB 644 to General File on a 7-0 vote. Introduced by Sen. Ben Hansen (Blair), designated political subdivisions would be required to explain how much a property taxpayer’s bill would increase if the proposed tax increase were approved and hold a hearing on these tax increases after 6 p.m. to allow citizens to better participate in the process. As amended by the Revenue Committee, the measure would require counties, cities, school districts, and community colleges to comply with certain notice and hearing requirements prior to setting the property tax request in an amount that exceeds the property tax request for the prior year, accounting for allowable growth (growth and assessed value of property from the prior assessment year to the current assessment year) resulting from (1) annexation of property; or (2) development of property.
Mark Your Calendar

NFIB will be co-hosting the annual Small Business Day at the Capitol on April 7, 2021. This year’s event will be held “virtually,” with the event to include discussion of bills of interest to small business and presentations by individual state senators on major issues to be addressed by the Legislature. Register today! Register here.

Previous Reports and Related Information
Photo courtesy of Unicameral Update, the Nebraska Legislature’s official news source since 1977


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