District 41 State Senator Tom Briese of Albion announced Jan. 16 that he has introduced LB 314, which will move Nebraska away from over-reliance on property taxes and toward adequately funding education in the state.
“This bill represents the work of Nebraskans United for Tax Reform and Education: a broad-based, bipartisan coalition of education groups and property tax interests including agricultural, residential, and commercial property taxpayers. The bill will provide the property tax relief that all hard-working Nebraskans deserve, while at the same time protecting the ability of our schools to prepare our young folks for the jobs and careers of the 21st century,” said Briese.
Briese went on to say that his bill would provide immediate property tax relief, and would identify the sources of revenue to fund that relief. Noting Census Bureau data suggesting Nebraska is 49th in the country in the percentage of K-12 education funded with state dollars, Briese said, “For far too long, our state has relied too heavily on property taxes to fund our schools. It’s time the state stepped up and funded its share of K-12 education.”
Finally, Briese stressed the significance of the various stakeholders and senators he anticipates backing his proposal. “Sustainable, revenue neutral tax reform which protects education must travel a collaborative, bipartisan path. And I believe that path exists,” he said. He also stated, “Because of the many stakeholders involved, the bill was a product of much negotiation, and most likely adjustments to it will continue.” Finally, Briese noted, “I believe that Nebraskans deserve a fair and balanced tax structure. I also recognize there is nothing we do that is more important than how we educate our children. This bill affirms both of those principles.”