Unicam Gives Final Approval To Phased-In 100% Income Tax Exemption For Social Security Benefits

      The Nebraska Legislature gave final approval on Thursday to a bill phasing out the state income tax on social security benefits by the year 2030. . 

       Lawmakers passed the gradual tax phase-out on a 41-0 vote. It now heads to Gov. Pete Ricketts, who is expected to sign it.

       The state currently taxes social security only for individuals making more than $45,000 a year and couples making over $59,000.

      With the average per-capita income in Nebraska a little over $32,000 per year, the tax savings will go to those generally in the upper one-third of income earners.

     The bill reduces the taxes paid on Social Security income by 5% this year, 20% next year and 30% in 2023 – continuing until it hits 100% gone in 2030.

        Supporters say it helps ease the tax burden on seniors and makes Nebraska more competitive with neighboring states that don’t tax Social Security at all.

        Lawmakers also passed the bill implementing the constitutional amendment passed by voters last year allowing casinos at licensed horse tracks. It passed 44-3 and takes effect immediately once the governor signs it

       The bill providing the regulatory framework for casino gambling adds Gaming Commission to the State Racing Commission name, raises the legal betting age on horse racing from 19 to 21, and sets up a system for filing complaints.

        The bill also allows sports betting at the casinos, but not on high school sports or on home contests of Nebraska colleges and universities. It also limits keno in casinos to paper tickets purchased with cash – just like at all other keno parlors.