By Dennis Morgan
NELIGH — For more than an hour Wednesday morning, District #41 State Senator Tom Briese spoke to constituents about the last legislative session which ended with no progress being made on property tax relief.
Most of his time spent at the Neligh Senior Center, visiting with approximately 20 constituents, focused on the lack of success achieving property tax relief and the need for more available housing in rural Nebraska.
“It doesn’t seem like we accomplished much,” Briese said about the 60-day session which concluded more than a month ago.
“The big prize for me,” Briese said, “was property tax relief”, which he couldn’t get enough votes to pass. LB 1084 which would have raised revenue from various sources to be used to increase school funding and, among other things, called for a comprehensive study of school funding across the state as well as increase the property tax credit fund. He said he couldn’t get the bill out of committee due to what he believes was political pressure, noting that he believed Governor Pete Ricketts didn’t want to be perceived as raising taxes. Also, there were concerns about caps to education spending which took away possible votes.
Briese said he then amended a version of 1084 onto a different bill but still couldn’t get the necessary votes to go forward. The best he could do was 25 votes on the amended bill and, to pass any bill, you need 33 votes, so it failed.
So, too, did a property tax relief bill offered to the unicameral by Gov. Pete Ricketts.
For the complete story, see this week’s issue of The Elgin Review