LB974, the bill to reduce property tax and change the school funding formula, is near the goal line and needs to pass.

How bad are Nebraska’s property taxes? Two good friends have moved to Texas in the last four months, both citing Nebraska’s tax situation.

Dan told me: “Nebraska really needs to do something if they want to keep the people that grew up here and raised families here, because one day the children will more than likely follow their parents. People want to retire one day, to have fun ... And people will move away from Nebraska so that they can do precisely that — retire. In Texas, we can retire with a little extra money in our pockets as an added bonus.”

Brad says: “Property tax levies on near million-dollar homes in my area are only 61% of my former Sarpy County levy (tax cost is 1.4% vs. 2.29% of assessed value) in my Fort Worth suburb of Cleburne. The Homestead Act exempts some of a home’s value, and applies to all homeowners, not just older folks with lower incomes like in Nebraska. Texas has no state income tax, and Fort Worth has no wheel tax. I only pay $200 to register my car, regardless of the value or car type.”

When I’ve asked many Nebraskans, I’ve found that the strong majority are not OK with our high tax rates. I’m very concerned that this session will again not pass any substantive measure to reduce our excessive property tax levels.

State senators, failure is not an option in this competitive world. Please get along, execute, and put principle and families (your most important customers) above special interests. The financial health of our state and citizenry depends on it.

Jerry Pascale

Omaha

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