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AFP in Omaha World-Herald: Eliminate State Inheritance Tax

December 13, 2012

Printed in today’s Omaha World-Herald:

The OpenSky Policy Institute released a report opposing repeal of Nebraska’s inheritance tax. It claims elimination of what has been called the “death tax” would force counties to cut services or raise property taxes. Unfortunately, this analysis never considers the prospect that government misspends taxpayer money or that there is room for reasonable spending cuts.

County governments can cut their spending without drastic budget cuts. Consider the fact that earlier this year Sarpy County moved to give salary raises to top administrators. And Douglas County fought vigorously against eliminating the death tax, using similar arguments as OpenSky.

Yet, not a year later Douglas County gave millions in inheritance tax revenue to the University of Nebraska Medical Center for a project that had already received $50 million in state funding.

Nebraska is one of eight states to impose an inheritance tax. Nebraska’s death tax primarily impacts family farms and ranches. The size and value of large, land-based operations make Nebraska’s family ag operations a prime target for this unfair tax.

The tax is a significant threat to the vitality of rural Nebraska and economic investment in our state. It is time to put the needs of Nebraska’s taxpayers ahead of the purported needs of government.

Brad Stevens, Lincoln

State director

Americans for Prosperity-Nebraska

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