Nebraska Budget Debate Heats Up

May 09, 2013

Nebraska legislators have ended the second full day of debate on the proposed $7.8 billion state budget.

You can view the mainline state budget, LB 195, by clicking here.

The majority of the debate has centered on the governor’s purchase of an airplane, school aid funding, government employee retirement benefits and a climate change study.

Late on Wednesday night Sen. Ken Schilz of Ogallala dropped an amendment, AM1259, a proposal that would lower the property tax bill for every Nebraska family.

Contact Sen. Schilz at (402) 471-2616 or email and let him know you support his efforts to focus the Unicameral’s attention on tax relief and not on spending as much taxpayer money as possible.

Too many senators were quick to jump up and disparage much needed property tax relief.

Sen. Danielle Conrad of Lincoln criticized the proposal, arguing that the amount requested in Sen. Schilz’s amendment was paltry and that the money would be better spent by the Legislature.  Sen. Heath Mello of Omaha made a similar point, contending that AM1259 would amount to roughly $5 to $10 in annual savings for the typical Nebraska homeowner.

In response, Sen. John Murante of Gretna summed up exactly what we were thinking.

Sen. Murante wanted to know why there were always a committed number of politicians who advocated for small amounts to be spent by government instead of given back to taxpayers.  When the difference is only $5 or $10, why is it assumed that government will spend that money better than Nebraska families?

Why are politicians so quick to justify a tax increase by saying ‘it’s only a little bit; it’s only a small percentage or only a few extra dollars’ but the same logic never happens in reverse?

Government spending does not go down, it goes up.  And Nebraska property taxes are not going down, they’re going up.

Sen. Murante is right; it’s time to send a message that Nebraska lawmakers get it.  Taxes are too high and families are hurting.  For once, let’s send the money back to the people.

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