Nebraska Lawmakers Pondering Options On Property Taxes

Nebraska lawmakers heard repeated complaints about property taxes this summer when they traveled the state, but they now face a critical challenge: Whose to reduce, and how?

Unlike the income tax, state officials have no direct control over property taxes set by county governments, school boards and community colleges. But as they start the 2014 session, lawmakers are trying to agree on the best way to ease property-tax pressure on home and business owners, farmers and ranchers.

Gov. Dave Heineman and many rural senators are calling for a reduction in taxable agriculture land valuations, which would help farmers, along with an income tax cut. Some urban lawmakers say the state should focus first on taxes that benefit the largest number of Nebraskans, including homeowners.

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