LINCOLN — Gov. Dave Heineman signed tax relief bills Monday, but withheld a decision on a measure related to wind energy and repealing Omaha’s ability to increase sales tax.
During a news conference Monday, the governor signed into law:
• Legislative Bill 308: Rescinds the state’s alternative minimum tax and allow businesses to spread out operating losses on their tax bills over 20 years instead of the current five years. Business groups support the bill as a way to streamline state taxes and improve the state’s ranking for its business tax climate.
• Legislative Bill 296: Increases the maximum state income tax deduction for investment in a state college savings plan from $2,500 to $5,000 for a married person filing separately and to $10,000 for a joint filing.
• Legislative Bill 573: Provides adjustments for capital gains and extraordinary dividends held by an employee stock ownership plan.
The governor said he has not yet decided whether to sign or veto Legislative Bill 104, which provides sales tax breaks for wind energy projects in the state. Heineman opposes the bill, sponsored by Sen. Steve Lathrop of Omaha, because it would help a Kansas firm seeking to build a major windmill farm that would export the electricity out of state.
But the bill also includes a provision that would rescind the City of Omaha’s ability to add an additional half-cent to the sales tax. The amendment was introduced by Sen. Ernie Chambers.
The governor said he likes the idea of repealing the extra sales tax authority, but would expand it statewide.
“I like half of this bill and I don’t like the other half,” Heineman said.
He said he will announce his decision on the bill Tuesday.
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