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Sen. Briese proposes bills to ‘rebalance’ state’s tax system

Tom Briese
Tom Briese
Two bills introduced by District 41 State Sen. Tom Briese could be among the most important, and most controversial, proposals in the current session of the Nebraska Legislature.
The Boone County senator on Jan. 12 introduced bills that are intended to “rebalance” the state’s tax system.
Both of Briese’s bills would impact the state’s sales tax system, and both would direct the additional revenues first to raising the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit, with the balance directed to providing additional property tax relief through the property tax credit fund.
One bill, LB 313, calls for a one-cent increase in the state sales tax rate. It would increase the state sales tax rate from the present 5.5 to 6.5 percent. If the bill passes this session, the rate could increase by July of 2017.
Briese’s other tax bill, LB 312, would expand the state’s sales tax base by eliminating a long list of sales tax exemptions, and bringing more goods and services under the sales tax umbrella.
“My bill targets those exemptions that are primarily non-business in nature,” he said. “I have attempted to include as broad a swath of consumer transactions as possible, with the exception of the areas of education and health care.”
In a summary of the bill, Briese listed a number of products and services currently exempt from sales tax that would lose the sales and use tax exemption under LB 312.
Read more in the Jan. 25 Albion News Print and E-Editions.