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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (March 20, 1998)
Possible tax relief on horizon
Brashear’s proposed bill would increase tax on services
By Joy Ludwig
For Nebraska citizens who want
property tax relief and lower sales
taxes, one senator has a proposed
With only 14 days remaining in
the legislative session, Sen. Kermit
Brashear of Omaha announced, at a
press conference Thursday, a major
tax change plan that would reduce
Nebraska sales, property and
income taxes while increasing sales
taxes on services.
The plan’s most significant
■ Decreasing sales tax from 5
to 4 percent.
■ Reducing city property taxes
and state income taxes.
■ Exempting property owners
from paying taxes on the first
$12,500 of their valuations.
■ Giving farmers a $2,500
refundable tax credit.
■ Expanding the city’s sales tax
Those tax credits and cuts
would amount to $547 million. But
that amount would be balanced by a
considerable increase in sales taxes
on services such as those provided
by an attorney, a real estate agent or
an auto mechanic. Those new taxes
would generate $550 million.
Health care and computer and
data processing services would not
be taxed. Brashear said his pro
posed plan was intended to replace
LB 1099 - a bill that would have
changed taxes had it not been killed
by the Revenue Committee in
He will bring the revised plan to
the floor for discussion next week
in hopes of getting a two-thirds vote
to pull the bill out of committee.
He said he introduced the plan
because he knows the people in
Nebraska want lower taxes, and it
could help the state economy grow.
“It’s a vehicle that could be used
as dynamic tax relief that our citi
zens have been crying for,” he said.
“This plan is responsive to all of
He said he thought people are
more willing to pay sales taxes on
these items because it is voluntary,
as opposed to most residents who
pay property and income tax.
“When you tax services, the
people who pay are the people who
use that service, which contributes
to tax revenues,” he said. “For
example, if you do not use a lawyer,
then you will not be taxed for that
South Dakota taxes three times
and Iowa taxes twice the number of
services that Nebraska does, he
Part of the plan would generate
$44 million in new revenue in
Omaha if the city sales tax base was
expanded, Brashear said. That
money could help fund a proposed
multimillion dollar convention cen
ter and arena, which he said was a
good idea for the state’s leading
city. Other Nebraska cities would
receive a total of $50 million.
But Sen. Stan Schellpeper of
Stanton said the Legislature hasn’t
seen enough support from the
Omaha business community for the
convention center. He said some
corporations would have to show
long-term commitments before
increasing the taxes in the state.
With a short session this year
and only two weeks left, he doesn’t
think there is enough time to decide
such a major issue, but he does
agree with increasing taxes on ser
“My concern is that we don’t
want to jump in too fast,”
Schellpeper said. “We don’t want to
do a major tax shift without the tax
payers’ input. In the past that (kind
of move) has been very unpopular
with people who have to pay taxes.”
Schellpeper said a case study
should be done to see how the plan
would affect the state and the busi
ness community, and to see who
opposes and supports it, which
could take several years.
Sen. Chris Peterson of Grand
Island agreed with Schellpeper on
the time element.
“I’d be reluctant to support
something like this without going
through the traditional Legislature
process with public hearings,” she
said. “There’s not enough time for
me to talk to my constituents to see
how they feel and how it would
But Brashear said he has been
working on this proposal diligently
during session; it just wasn’t ready
for hearings. He said the plan was
not so urgent that it absolutely had
to get approved this session.
costs soar to
ASUN from page 1
Wiechmann said although his
presidential ticket lost, it was not
because they spent less money
“We had two bigparties who orga
nized and fund-raised and both made
a good run,” he said. “I don’t think
either party bought their way.
Wiechmann said VISION should
have printed more T-shirts and spent
more on election day. That aside, he
was satisfied with campaign spend
ing, especially the 2,000 postcards
and 1,500 fliers VISION sent out.
Some things COMMIT bought,
such as balloons, pens, pencils and red
plastic cups, probably were unneces
sary, he said.
Russell said those types of sou
venirs didn’t make die difference.
“I gave everyone at the university
more intelligence than just a cup in
their hand,” she said.
Russell said making sure COM
MIT was ahead was important. And
competition can get expensive, she said.
“Getting the word out makes the
difference,” she said. “I would like to
see the emphasis less through trying to
obtain it through financial measure.”
■ The Men of^1
I I Alpha Gamma
have a very
I Spring Break..
Wishes Everyone A
Fun And Safe
*1 t •
I Have a safe
1 would (ike to
remind you not to
^^.In memory of
Laura M. Cochon
A dear sister
I Hopes the UNL
I Spring Break!
t Call a cab. j
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