First, thanks to the Platte Institute for sponsoring Thursday evening’s property tax town hall. And special thanks to state Sens. Mike Groene, Lou Ann Linehan and John Lowe. Groene and Linehan, especially, have been tireless warriors for real solutions to Nebraska’s property tax woes. It is their job to fight the Unicameral battle, and for that they deserve our gratitude.
But once everyone left the room, we face the hard facts. First, we are always told relief comes “next year.” Since 2000, there have been 510 bills introduced in Lincoln to “solve” our property tax pain. No matter how good the people, does anyone believe that No. 511 will be the answer? Or that the 20 senators who really want a solution can prevail over the 30 or so who do not?
Second, what can Lincoln give us? Fifty years of “solutions” are clear: Any “relief” from Lincoln is never enough to matter. It will never be permanent. (With all the fixes, has there ever been a year we have not been in crisis?) Most important, you will see no help. Over 80% of what Lincoln spends never reaches the taxpayer.
The reason for supporting the 35% property tax rebate petition is simple: The amount is real; it is permanent; and every dime goes to the people who pay the taxes.
This is the time for the people to step up and solve what Lincoln cannot — and will not. Help us get it on the ballot.
Paul Von Behren