Nebraska’s Property Tax Debate: Balancing Consumer, Business and Stakeholder Interests

Business owners express concerns as proposed property tax relief bill may increase reliance on sales taxes

On Wednesday, a bill aimed at reducing property taxes for Nebraskans was debated on the Unicameral floor. Governor Jim Pillen, who has made this issue a priority, referred to it as “historic” and “transformative.” Some senators have criticized Nebraska’s tax system, which they say places too much burden on property owners. However, organizations like the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce argue that shifting this burden to consumers through sales tax hikes is not the solution.

Business owners are also concerned about specific provisions in the proposal. Sarah Linden, CEO of Grateful Green, worries about a 100% tax on CBD and hemp products. She believes these measures are punitive and will harm lower to middle-income consumers who rely on them for medical purposes. Meanwhile, Brian Kitten at Brewsky’s Food and Spirits fears losing income from games of skill machines due to proposed taxes set at 20%. He describes the potential impact as a “downward spiral” for his business.

As the debate continues on the floor, changes may be made to the bill language. The overall goal is to reduce the burden of property taxes on Nebraskans, but different stakeholders have varying opinions about how best to achieve this goal.

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