Legislative Fiscal Office Releases State Aid Estimates If Property Tax Plan Passes

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – Revenue Committee chairman Senator Lou Ann Linehan has released a list of how much state aid every K-12 district in Nebraska would receive if LB 974, this session’s primary property tax relief bill, were to pass.

LB 974 calls for increasing state aid by $500-million dollars to offset a similar cut in property taxes by reducing the percentage of valuation used for tax purposes. Agricultural land , for example, would be taxed at 55% of its value.

Linehan says the state aid estimates from the Legislative Fiscal Office and based on a per-student system are for the first 3 years of the plan, when the tax reductions would be phased in.

The list says the Chadron Public Schools would receive $15.9-million dollars, Hay Springs $5.5-million, Crawford $3.3-million, Gordon-Rushville $2.5-million, and Sioux County $608,000 – although $405,000 would come in the final year.

LB 974 failed to advance to a first-round vote after 3 hours of debate and Speaker Jim Scheer won’t put it back on the schedule unless Linehan shows him she has the support of 33 senators.

Linehan says she’s close to it and Governor Pete Ricketts told KNEB News in Scottsbluff that he also believes Linehan is close and thinks the state aid estimates may be enough to get her over the top.

He also thinks it may convince some school administrators and lawmakers now opposing the measure to get behind it by showing that while districts will have to constrain their spending just like the state, nearly all of them will still be able to grow their budgets.

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