2013 Legislative Wrap-Up
This week marked the last day of the Nebraska Legislature’s 2013 session.
The positive: there were no tax increases, and there were a few tax cuts. The budget is balanced. Nebraska did not implement ObamaCare through Medicaid expansion and spending will be more transparent.
The negative: state spending is growing rapidly. Comprehensive tax reform was pushed back to next year and Medicaid expansion is still a real threat for 2014.
The session began with Gov. Heineman’s push for comprehensive tax reform that would have eliminated the state income tax. That effort ended in a study that will, hopefully, become the basis for a revised tax reform package next year. For more information, click here.
The Legislature did eliminate the state’s Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) and increased deductibility limits for the Nebraska College Savings Plan. Learn more by clicking here.
LB 629, introduced by Sen. Danielle Conrad and signed by Gov. Heineman, increased transparency in Nebraska’s tax incentive program, called the Advantage Act, for business expansion and job creation. Now taxpayers will know how many jobs were created by companies receiving this special tax designation. While AFP believes in a free market where all businesses and families enjoy a low tax burden, it is a good step knowing whether programs like the Nebraska Advantage Act are working as intended.
Implementing ObamaCare by endorsing Medicaid expansion would have cost Nebraska taxpayers millions of dollars and further drove federal entitlement programs into bankruptcy. It was a win for Nebraska that the Legislature did not pass LB 577. We must remain vigilant throughout 2013 and 2014 on this issue. Take action on Medicaid expansion here.
We are disappointed that Nebraska’s biennial budget will grow to nearly $8 billion and include average annual increases of 5.2%. State spending is growing at an alarming rate that our family incomes simply cannot keep up with. For more, click here.
These are but a few of the issues tackled this session. Thank you for all your work this year, stepping up when we asked for help to keep our state senators accountable to you, the taxpayer.