Government Affairs: January 2016 Update

Sheila1113-2-150x150Contributed by Sheila O’Connor, AAF Omaha Board Member & Legislative Issues Chair

‘Plan would lower taxes on recent college grads who take jobs in Nebraska’
JournalStar.com reports that “to keep college graduates from leaving” Nebraska, “and to attract talented young people from other states,” State Sen. Burke Harr of Omaha is working with a coalition “to draft a bill that he will introduce in January.”  According to the bill, supporters want the measure to “offer five years’ worth of credits toward the state income taxes of any recent college graduate working in Nebraska.”  The supporters of the initiative say that “of the 6,400 people who receive bachelor’s degrees each year from Nebraska’s state colleges and universities, up to 40% move elsewhere.”

To see the original article, click here.

‘Nebraskans shouldn’t look for major property tax relief this session’
The World-Herald News Service reports, “Nebraskans shouldn’t get their hopes up for major tax cuts from the Legislature next year” as the state government is facing a $110 million budget shortfall. Still, “Speaker of the Legislature Galen Hadley of Kearney predicted that the Legislature will get something done to address property taxes during the next session.”  According to the article, “the most likely steps will be to temper sharp increases in property valuations and tighten budget limits on local governments.” Meanwhile, Sen. Jim Smith of Papillion “said he plans to continue working on LB357 to cut state income tax rates.  The state’s cash reserve “is expected to reach a record $728.6 million by June 30,” and the state’s current budget gap “could shrink when the economic forecasting board meets again at the end of February.”

To see the original article, click here.

‘Min. wage hike, personal property tax exemption take effect soon’
The AP reports that Nebraska employers with minimum wage employees will be forced to pay $9 an hour when the new year begins, due to the “minimum wage ballot measure approved by voters in November 2014.” The story quotes Jim Partington, executive director of the Nebraska Restaurant Association, who said, “The wage increase comes as restaurants struggle to adjust to the Affordable Care Act, as well as proposed federal changes that would allow millions of additional workers nationwide to qualify for overtime pay.” In a bit of good news for businesses and farmers, the AP points out that a new law taking effect will allow “business owners to exempt the first $10,000 worth of tangible property used in their operations.”

To see the original article, click here.


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