June 21, 2024

Nebraskans Weigh In on Proposed Tax Relief Measures: A Balancing Act of Property Taxes and Consumer Burden

1 min read
Business owners express concerns as proposed property tax relief bill may increase reliance on sales taxes

On Wednesday, the Unicameral floor began its initial round of debate on a legislative package designed to provide property tax relief to Nebraskans. Governor Jim Pillen, who prioritized the tax package, referred to it as “historic” and “transformational.” State senators have compared Nebraska’s tax system to an unbalanced stool, placing too much burden on property owners. However, organizations such as the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce have opposed shifting this burden to consumers through sales tax hikes.

Business owners are concerned about specific sales tax increases included in the proposal. For instance, Sarah Linden, CEO of Grateful Green, is worried that a 100% tax on CBD and hemp products may discourage customers and lead to lower sales revenue as businesses close. Linden believes these measures are punitive and will harm lower-income consumers who rely on them for medical purposes.

At Brewsky’s Food and Spirits, owner Brian Kitten emphasizes the importance of games of skill machines in generating revenue for his business, especially during the pandemic. However, with proposed taxes on these games set at 20%, Kitten fears losing a valuable source of income. He describes the potential impact as a “downward spiral” for his business.

As the debate continues on the floor, changes may be made to the bill’s language. The overall goal is to relieve property taxes from Nebraskans but has drawn mixed reactions from various stakeholders in the state.

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