News Release: Sept. 24 Omaha Property Tax Reform Town Hall

Contact: Adam Weinberg
(402) 452-3737
aweinberg@platteinstitute.org

Omaha Area Senators to Speak at Property Tax Town Hall
Legislators Face Time Crunch with Short Session, Ballot Drive 



OMAHA, NE—The Platte Institute will host a town hall program on property tax reform featuring five Nebraska state senators representing districts in the Omaha area.

State Sens. Mike McDonnell, Lou Ann Linehan, Sue Crawford, Brett Lindstrom, John McCollister will serve as panelists at the event. The senators, most of whom serve on the Legislature’s Revenue Committee, will speak on their efforts for property tax reform and take questions from those in attendance.   

The town hall will be held at the Omaha Firefighters Union Hall (6005 Grover Street, Omaha, NE 68106) on Tuesday, September 24 at 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Central Time. An event flyer is attached. A recording of the event will be available later at PlatteInstitute.org.

Free registration is online at http://omahatownhall.eventbrite.com.

Starting in January, Nebraska state senators will have only sixty working days to try to reach a consensus on legislation for property tax reform. The Revenue Committee advanced a proposal in the 2019 legislative session, but it failed to advance due to a filibuster. In theory, legislative bills can be approved by a simple majority vote, but 33 of the 49 votes are needed to invoke cloture and continue debate when the filibuster is used.

In addition, the Associated Press reports that a 2020 ballot drive for a constitutional amendment related to property taxes is gaining steam. An increasing number of senators are supporting the ballot initiative as a backup plan in the event legislative action fails. The measure would require the state to rebate the cost of 35% of local real property taxes paid each year, which would consume approximately 28% of current state revenues.

Whether that campaign will continue to gain support may depend on the Revenue Committee’s ability to win over their colleagues in the Omaha area. More than one-third of senators represent districts including Douglas and Sarpy Counties. While polling from area districts shows there is support for additional property tax limitations and other changes, major school districts and other local political subdivisions in the area have previously voiced objections to reforms that would limit their property tax collections.

“The Legislature may only get one more chance to pass major property tax reform before the issue goes before voters,” said Jim Vokal, Chief Executive Officer of the Platte Institute.

“It’s important for senators to hear from constituents who they might not engage with during the usual legislative hearings in Lincoln and for those Nebraskans to learn more about the policies their senators are working on from day to day,” said Vokal.

Members of the media are welcome to attend the Property Tax Reform Town Hall. To schedule an interview on this subject, please contact Adam Weinberg at (402) 452-3737 or email aweinberg@platteinstitute.org.

 
The Platte Institute advances policies that remove barriers to growth and opportunity in Nebraska. For more media resources, please visit PlatteInstitute.org/Media.   

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