LINCOLN — A bill to authorize a comprehensive study of Nebraska's tax system was advanced Wednesday to the full Legislature.
The measure would set up a 12-member Tax Modernization Committee of lawmakers, including all eight members of the Revenue Committee.
The group would be charged with compiling a report of possible tax reforms by Dec. 15, with a focus on fairness, simplicity and making Nebraska more attractive, tax-wise, for new and current employers.
State Sen. Beau McCoy of Omaha, who has chosen Legislative Bill 613 as his priority bill, said he expects the committee to begin meeting before the Legislature's session ends in June.
To make that happen, the bill would have to be passed with an emergency clause, requiring approval by 33 of the 49 state senators.
The tax study grew out of Gov. Dave Heineman's call in January for the Legislature to eliminate all state income taxes and instead get revenue from currently sales tax-exempt purchases of goods by businesses, farmers, hospitals and nonprofit groups.
While Heineman maintained that such a tax shift would make Nebraska more desirable for high-paying jobs, the idea ran into a barrage of opposition.
The governor's two bills were quickly killed amid a pledge to at least study tax reforms such as taxing more services, lowering property taxes and eliminating some sales-tax exemptions.
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