Nebraska advances property tax break for homes hit by flood

Valley, Nebraska photographed by Juston Brazda.
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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska residents whose homes were destroyed by last month's historic flood could get a property tax break under a bill advanced by lawmakers.

Lawmakers gave first-round approval Tuesday to a bill that would require county officials to adjust the assessed value of homes that were destroyed by fires or natural disasters, such as floods and tornadoes.

The proposal's sponsor, Sen. Steve Erdman of Bayard, says it's designed to help flood victims who are likely suffering financial hardships.

Some lawmakers questioned what would happen to local government budgets in the event of a widespread natural disaster.

Sen. Ernie Chambers, of Omaha, criticized the measure as vague and blasted lawmakers for their unwillingness to pass other bills intended to help people, including a minimum wage increase for tipped workers.