LINCOLN — Nebraska State Treasurer Don Stenberg on Wednesday endorsed a legislative proposal to eliminate the state's long-term care savings plan.
The long-term care savings plan offers state income tax deductions of $1,000 for individuals, $2,000 for married couples, for depositing an equal amount in designated accounts.
Money from the accounts can be used to pay for long-term care needs or to buy long-term care insurance.
Stenberg said he hopes to set a precedent for government officials with his action.
“We need less government, less spending and less bureaucracy,” he said. “My announcement today is a step in that direction.”
Eliminating the program was among the ideas suggested by state lawmakers this fall to help close a $986 million budget gap. State Sen. Charlie Janssen of Fremont is expected to introduced a bill carrying out the suggestion.
The move would save the state $98,084 in annual administrative expenses. Stenberg said that amounts to about 1.8 percent of his operating budget.
The state could save more if tax deductions granted to savings account holders also are eliminated. That decision would be up to the Legislature, Stenberg said.
Stenberg said the plan has not been much used. As of Dec. 31, 2009, there were 369 people who had invested a total of $466,000 in the accounts.
In comparison, the state's college savings plan has more than $2 billion invested.