The Need for Tax Modernization in Nebraska

March 18, 2013

AFP-Nebraska has hosted over 20 events in 14 cities across Nebraska since January 1st.  We have met with hundreds of Nebraskans who keep telling us the same message: government keeps making my life harder.

The Legislature has a bill, LB 454 sponsored by Sen. Ken Haar, pending now that would mandate corporate recycling programs that include excessive requirements such as retailers measuring the weight of each electronic item they sell.  Best Buy will need to weigh each computer and report the weight of total items sold and total items recycled annually to the state.

This is excessive government regulation and we must put a stop to it.

One way we can streamline government is modernize the way it collects revenue (i.e. tax Nebraskans).

The full Legislature is debating LB 613 this week and we are asking for your help to keep the pressure on.

We want our legislators to act.

Reforming the tax code can make Nebraska more competitive for new jobs and economic development.  A more modern tax code can take into consideration the technological, economic and cultural changes that have happened since the last time we significantly updated our tax structure – over 50 years ago!

We now are a service-based economy, yet many services are not applicable to the state’s sales tax.  The staggering amount of sales tax exemptions have contributed to Nebraska’s extremely high property tax burden.

Local governments rely on the sales tax to fund government; yet more money is exempted from the sales tax than is collected – by a wide margin.  Removing some exemptions to more accurately reflect a 21st Century economy not only would allow the state government to eliminate the income tax, but it would also generate local government revenue.  This could be used to greatly reduce the property tax burden.

AFP-Nebraska does not support a greater tax burden.  A net increase in revenue collected by state and local governments as a result of tax reform would be a travesty.  It is our responsibility to diligently monitor the debate in the Unicameral and ensure safeguards against raising revenue.   Nebraskans already pay enough for government services.

But we are open to identifying ways to modernize our tax code.  We need to find ways to lower the property tax and income tax burdens.

Check out AFP’s report on tax reform and what it would mean for our economy by clicking here. 

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