Lawmakers Eye Changes To Income Tax Brackets, Elections

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

A legislative panel has advanced a proposal to ensure that Nebraska's income-tax brackets keep pace with inflation.

The Revenue Committee bill seeks to address cost-of-living salary increases that can bump taxpayers into a higher bracket where they end up paying more. Committee members moved the measure Friday on an 8-0 vote.

Sen. Galen Hadley, the committee chairman, said indexing the brackets to track inflation amounts to a significant long-term tax cut.

Nebraska's top income tax rate for a married couple filing jointly kicks in at $58,000. If the brackets had been inflation-adjusted in 1993, that couple wouldn't pay the top rate until their income hit $84,400.

The bill would also exempt some Social Security income that falls below certain thresholds.

Lawmakers are also looking at making changes to the state's elections. One bill would bind party delegates to the vote of the people.

Sen. John Murante of Gretna said there is currently no requirement for who delegates vote for. His bill would require 80 percent of delegates to vote for the candidate voters chose. Murante also may introduce an amendment to move the state's primary up by a month to the second Tuesday in April.

Sen. Al Davis of Hyannis introduced a bill that would allow independent voters to participate in a Democratic or Republican primary, but said he doesn't expect the bill to advance out of committee.

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