Tuesday's vote temporarily ends discussion of the mayor’s favored trash bid, a 10-year, $22.7-million-a year deal with Spain-based FCC Environmental.
Two key issues were left unfinished, but lawmakers worked together and compromised on other important legislation.
Nebraska lawmakers headed home Friday from a session marked by relatively easy passage of a $9.3 billion state budget but major disappointments over property taxes and business incentives.
The state budget included a 23% increase in the state's property tax credit fund, which boosted the total to $275 million a year. Gov. Pete Ricketts touted the record amount in the fund, but many rural lawmakers had argued for bigger reductions in property taxes.
State Sen. Mark Kolterman said Thursday that he’ll have the 33 votes needed to head off a filibuster and get the bill passed, but rural senators say they're close to having enough votes to block the measure.
The advancement came despite threats by rural senators to block Legislative Bill 720, known as the ImagiNE Act, unless lawmakers also passed a pending bill granting property tax relief.
The bills now head to Gov. Pete Ricketts, who has until Monday to sign or veto them or make line-item vetoes of specific spending items.
Ernie Goss, an author of the study, defended it, saying that as an economist, his findings have never been influenced by who was paying for a study, and that they were not in this instance.
A rarely used "pull" motion passed with the minimum 25 votes Tuesday night, allowing a chance for a floor debate on the controversial issue of physical restraint of disruptive students.
Doug Kagan of Omaha, the longtime head of Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom, said he withdrew his sponsorship of the petition because he disagreed with the management of the effort and didn’t think that it would be successful in qualifying for the 2020 ballot.
The issue of when a sale is taxed has been thrust into the limelight in the Nebraska Legislature during an ongoing debate about how to lower Nebraska's sky-high property taxes.
The proposal, chiefly crafted by State Sen. Tom Briese of Albion, would raise about $100 million in new tax revenue by taking away sales tax exemptions on such items as pop, candy and home repairs done by contractors.
A trio of measures aimed at countering sex trafficking, helping trafficking victims and fighting online “revenge porn” cleared first-round consideration Thursday in the Nebraska Legislature.
Supporters say the proposed ImagiNE Act is an improvement over the 14-year-old Advantage Act because its tax incentives require higher-paying jobs and additional reporting on the fiscal impact. Critics say it fails to correct the problems of the current incentive programs.
"We're a couple months away from the end of the fiscal year, but April was so robust that it's pretty clear we're going to be ahead for the year," Tax Commissioner Tony said Wednesday.
Under the proposal, communities like Fremont, as well as other suburban towns outside of Douglas County, could opt to join a new Regional Metropolitan Transit Authority that would have its own elected board, as well as authority to levy property taxes in participating communities.
State Sens. Lou Ann Linehan Mike Groene of North Platte said Friday that they are eyeing amendments to their Legislative Bill 289 in hopes of gaining the support of the Omaha, Millard and Lincoln school districts — the state's three largest school districts and the major opponents of their proposal.
The Legislature amended the budget package to add $51 million a year to the state's Property Tax Credit Fund, which drew praise from Gov. Pete Ricketts, who had proposed that level of increase in his budget recommendation.
Public hearing before the Omaha City Council is scheduled for June 25.
Lou Ann Linehan, the main sponsor of the proposal, said she plans to regroup, consider new amendments, and see if she can show the necessary support to bring the bill back up for further debate.
State Sen. Lou Ann Linehan of Elkhorn, the sponsor of Legislative Bill 289, said she's trying to organize a "road show" across the state this weekend to rally support for the proposal.
Legislative Bill 289, as put forth by the Revenue Committee last week, seeks to cut property taxes by raising the sales tax rate, applying sales tax to several more services and increasing other taxes.
Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., joined a bipartisan group of House members last week introducing legislation to exempt surviving family members from the tax hit in the future. He is also promoting legislation to eliminate a re-marriage penalty.
Legislative Bill 289 proposes to do away with about two dozen sales tax exemptions on everyday goods and services.
State Sen. Mark Kolterman says that the ImagiNE Nebraska Act is designed to be more transparent and more affordable than the Advantage Act, and easier for business to navigate.
State Sen. Lou Ann Linehan, who chairs the Revenue Committee and was one of the main authors of the bill, said, "It will be property tax relief for everyone, both urban and rural." Gov. Pete Ricketts, in a statement Tuesday evening, said he was "appalled" by the advancement of the bill.