Gov. Ricketts joins veterinarians to voice disapproval of tax increases

Sixteen Douglas County officials submitted a letter to Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts on Friday,...
Sixteen Douglas County officials submitted a letter to Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts on Friday, April 3, 2020, urging him to issue a "stay-at-home" order for the state. (WOWT file photo) (WOWT)
Published: Apr. 15, 2019 at 4:27 PM CDT
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Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts expressed his disapproval Monday morning of legislation that would tax veterinary services.

Ricketts toured the Veterinary Centers of American and joined with veterinarians to ask lawmakers not to raise taxes.

"We're here today to say keep your paws off of our pet healthcare," he said.

The governor addressed proposals in the legislature that supporters said are needed to balance revenue lost if property tax relief is passed.

Ricketts said no tax increase would help.

"I'm against raising all the taxes. We've done this in the past. When I say we, the legislature has raised taxes in the past and all it has done is led to more spending," he said.

A couple of proposals being considered at the state level would not just increase taxes on pet services in the state, but also on personal storage and ride sharing.

Some say the increases would be passed onto consumers with increased prices.

"We don't need to increase the burden on Nebraska ranchers who are working tirelessly to care for their herds that are part of our national food chain," Dr. Christopher, medical director of VCA Midwest said.

The state senator behind the bill, Tom Briese, said that "expanding our tax base by closing special interest tax exemptions is a reasonable and responsible means of providing property tax relief for hardworking Nebraskans.

There are other proposed changes in sales tax, including removing certain items that are not exempt. They could also increase the state sales tax by half of a percent.