It will take some time and hard work to bring down and equalize property taxes, but Gov. Pete Ricketts said last week in Albion he believes it’s possible with programs his administration is planning to carry through.
The governor was speaking to an estimated 80 to 90 area producers and spouses who gathered Tuesday night, March 28, for the annual meeting of the Central Plains Corn Growers.
“This will be a structured long-term change,” said Ricketts, who outlined his LB 338, sponsored by Ag Committee Chair Lydia Brasch of Bancroft.
The bill, called the Agricultural Valuation Fairness Act, would change ag property valuations from market-based assessment to income-potential assessments. It includes a cap allowing ag land valuations to increase by only 3.5 percent per year.
The governor presented a chart looking back at the impact this legislation would have had if it had been in place since 2007. In the 10-year span since 2007, ag land valuations would have grown from $28.3 billion to $38.5 billion, or a total of 36.29 percent. Instead, statewide ag land valuations have grown to $99.4 billion or nearly 252 percent during that 10-year span, he said.
Gov. Ricketts said this type of plan is in place for some surrounding states like South Dakota, Kansas and Iowa, and their property owners are seeing the benefit.
Among other topics, the governor stressed that a strong agricultural economy is vital to Nebraska’s overall economic health.
Read more in the April 5 Albion News print and e-editions.