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Nebraska thought it fixed the state's reliance on property taxes. It didn't

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white spot.jpg

Nebraska leans more on property taxes than other states

When the Legislature in the 1990s raised sales and income taxes, put limits on property tax levies and increased state school aid, the share of property taxes in Nebraska relative to sales and income taxes dropped. But property taxes have been bearing a growing percentage of the tax load in recent years, with the burden born by sales and income taxes falling.



Percent of school costs paid by states

According to Census Bureau data, Nebraska ranks 48th among the 50 states in the percentage of K-12 school costs picked up by the state, with its 33% state share well below the national average of over more than 47%. Nebraska in red. United States average in yellow.


white spot 2.jpg

This map was part of an ad that Nebraska business leaders ran in Time Magazine in 1937 proclaiming the state "The White Spot" for its lack of sales and income taxes. 

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Property taxes rising relative to sales, income

When the Legislature in the 1990s raised sales and income taxes, put limits on property tax levies and increased state school aid, the share of property taxes in Nebraska relative to sales and income taxes dropped. But property taxes have been bearing a growing percentage of the tax load in recent years, with the burden born by sales and income taxes falling.


Lou Ann Linehan

State Sen. Lou Ann Linehan of Omaha, left, chairs of the Legislature’s Revenue Committee, said she sympathizes with farmers, but could not support their plan. Linehan, who will guide the crafting of a property tax relief proposals this year, said that any solution needs to include provisions to rein in school spending.

Ricketts

Gov. Pete Ricketts supports his own plan for property tax relief, which would increase the state’s property tax credit program and would limit growth in spending of property tax dollars.

Reporter - Metro News

Henry is a general assignment reporter, but his specialty is deep dives into state issues and public policy. He's also into the numbers behind a story, yet to meet a spreadsheet he didn't like. Follow him on Twitter @HenryCordes. Phone: 402-444-1130.

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