Nebraska’s governor defends tax plan
A bill will be filed in the Nebraska legislature that would end most of the sales tax breaks enjoyed by business and agriculture in exchange for eliminating the state income tax.
In defending his plan, Governor Dave Heineman says he understands that there will be resistance among farmers to ending sales tax breaks on buying tractors and combines, chemicals, seed and fuel used on the farm.
But the governor says the state needs to have the discussion.
“It’s tough, but it can be done civilly and respectfully—what should be in and what should be out,” Heineman says. “But you also need to ask that farmer and rancher—and I’m already asking them—then what are you for? Are you for the current system that penalizes our families and small business?
“We want to grow. So we’ve got to have this conversation—and I believe we can.”
State senator Brad Ashford of Omaha says the elimination of the sales tax break on tractors and combines is only fair.
“Omaha—and the rest of the state—is a transportation hub. Distribution of goods is a major industrial base in our state,” Ashford says. “They’re paying tax for that truck and there’s no tax being paid on the combine. So I think to address these exemptions as the governor has proposed—especially on the business side—is really leveling the playing field.”
Governor Heineman’s plan would eliminate 2.4 billion dollars in sales tax exemptions—the equivalent of the money currently brought in by the individual and corporate income tax.
If this goes through for one state all surrounding states will have to do it also. We will lose Millions of dollars locally as farmers haul everything in from surrounding states to save sales tax. It will hurt local ag business terribly, especially by the borders. They’ve already tried this once and it failed. Hopefully common sense will prevail.
Regarding Ken Anderson’s comment. Farmers pay personal property taxes on that combine, sales tax on repairs, sales tax on our trucks, tires, and repairs. Unlike other businesses that ask for all kinds of tax breaks to come to NE and then move on when the breaks expire, farmers cannot move their business. As to Omaha and the rest of the state being a transportation hub; they get the lions share of road and bridge improvements while we in rural NE deal with unsafe bridges and roads as we transport our supplies and produce.
Suzanne–just to clarify–those comments were not mine. I was quoting Governor Dave Heineman and state Senator Brad Ashford of Omaha. But we appreciate your input.
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