Governor Pillen announces second town hall on property tax relief in Grand Island – Nebraska Examiner

Governor Pillen announces second town hall on property tax relief in Grand Island – Nebraska Examiner

LINCOLN — Gov. Jim Pillen announced the second of his town hall meetings on property tax relief Friday, setting the next one in Grand Island ahead of a promised special session.

Pillen’s second stop will be “one among many,” his office says, before a special session is scheduled for the end of July. The tour comes as the governor remains committed to offering voters $2 billion in relief from the $5 billion in property taxes the state collects each year.

Lawmakers have already moved up $1 billion toward that goal, but the governor is trying to find the rest of the relief to meet his 40 percent goal.

The Grand Island Town Hall will be held Friday, May 17 at 1:30 p.m. at The Hideout, 1607 S Locust St., Suite C.

The schedule for future town halls has not been revealed.

“Nebraskas across the state have made it clear that they expect state leaders to resolve the property tax crisis,” Pillen said in a statement released Friday.

“While we rely on the Legislature to craft the right solution, all Nebraskans need to be part of this conversation,” the governor continued. “The Legislature failed to pass any property tax relief during the regular session, but we will finish the job in a special session.”

Pillen wants lawmakers to advance, or “advance,” about $750 million in already-approved income tax credits for property taxes paid, he said May 3 at Bellevue University.

Another $248 million in property tax relief has already been granted as the state picks up more of the tab for community colleges, completing the first $1 billion in relief.

The governor stood firm in his suggestions to raise the state sales tax by up to 1 cent, which would raise nearly $500 million. Critics said it wouldn’t cut taxes.

Pillen also suggested reducing sales tax exemptions to “broaden the base.”

Some legislators have already given these ideas a cold in springwhich led the lead sponsor of this year’s bill — state Sen. Lou Ann Linehan of Elkhorn — to withdraw her proposal, Legislative Bill 388before a final vote on the last day of the legislative session in April.

Linehan, chairwoman of the Legislature’s Revenue Committee, said Pillen “gave all kinds of warning” about a special session, so she wasn’t surprised he was pledging to call one.

“I already told the Revenue Committee that we were going to work this summer,” she told the Nebraska Examiner on April 18.