Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman on Saturday vetoed $65 million from the Legislature's nearly $8 billion budget for fiscal years 2013-2015.
The governor noted that by vetoing millions in new spending, those taxpayer funds could instead be used for property tax relief for homeowners, farmers, ranchers and small business owners.
“For the past year, Nebraskans have been very clear in telling the Legislature’s Tax Modernization Committee that their biggest concern is high property taxes and I believe that providing property tax relief is a more important priority than funding fountains at the State Capitol,” said Gov. Heineman.
The vetoes include $1.1 million from the Water Sustainability Fund that was earmarked for the Omaha Sewer Separation project. The governor says a local project should be paid with local funds.
Also cut were $7.4 million provided to the Nebraska Supreme Court for a Juvenile Services Project Contingency Program and $2.5 million in Nebraska Capital Construction Funds for the construction of four courtyard fountains.
“For more than 80 years, the capitol building has existed without fountains and we don’t need them now," said the governor. Providing an additional $25 million in property tax relief for Nebraska homeowners, farmers, ranchers and small business owners can be accomplished in the remaining days of the Legislature if state senators make it a priority.”