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Tax Report: Nebraska’s Property Tax Ranks as 10th Worst in the Country

Nov 2, 2018 by AFP

Grassroots group warns Medicaid expansion could make property tax burden even worse

LINCOLN, NE – Americans for Prosperity-Nebraska (AFP-NE) today expressed concern after a recent report found Nebraska has the 10th worse property tax component in the Tax Foundation’s 2019 State Business Tax Climate Index.

Ballot Initiative 427, which would expand Medicaid under Obamacare threatens to increase taxes and result in budget shortfalls for essential government services. Just recently, Governor Peter Ricketts commented that the revised revenue forecast shows that Medicaid expansion would make property tax relief “nearly impossible and cut funding for education.”

“It’s no secret that Nebraska has burdensome property taxes, but this report underscores our high property taxes are stifling economic growth. What’s worse, ballot initiative 427 will expose our state to even more burdensome taxes and cuts to essential government services,” said AFP-NE State Director, Jessica Shelburn. “In state after state, taxes are increased to make up for Medicaid expansion’s inevitable cost overruns. If we want to ease our property tax burden, Nebraskans must reject Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion. Nebraskans should know that if ballot initiative 427 passes, we will likely face tax increases and property tax relief will be unattainable.”

Background:

Other states that expanded Medicaid show Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion is a fiscal nightmare.  To take just a few examples: Illinois expanded its Medicaid program in 2013 and spending quickly grew out of control – the program’s cost went over budget by $800 million in the first year alone. Ohio ran nearly $1.5 billion over budget in its first 18 months after expansion.

Colorado, and Oregon are just a few states that have proposed tax increases to cover Medicaid expansion costs. Now Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Arkansas are asking the federal government for permission to roll back eligibility for Medicaid to rein in their programs. Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, New Hampshire and Ohio all used higher taxes in 2017 to fund Medicaid expansion.

Under Obamacare, state governments get $9 dollars for every additional dollar of spending on the able-bodied, expansion population, but in Nebraska that 90-10 split is only fifty-fifty for the traditional Medicaid population.

This difference in matching rates creates an incentive for states to prioritize the expansion population, instead of prioritizing the most vulnerable – the original purpose of the Medicaid program.