Property tax relief bill proposes shifting burden to sales taxes, raising concerns for business owners

Nebraska Legislature’s Historic Property Tax Relief Bills: Balancing Tax Burden and Generating Revenue?

In Nebraska, the legislature is currently debating a package of bills aimed at providing property tax relief to residents. Governor Jim Pillen has described the proposed tax relief as “historic” and “transformational,” while state senators have compared the state’s tax system to an unbalanced stool with too much pressure on property owners.

However, there are concerns from organizations like the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce about shifting the tax burden to consumers through sales tax increases. Some business owners are particularly concerned about specific hikes, such as a proposed 100% tax on CBD and hemp products, which could lead to a decrease in sales tax revenue as businesses struggle to stay afloat. Sarah Linden, CEO of Grateful Green, pointed out that this could hurt lower to middle-income individuals who rely on these products for medical purposes.

At Brewsky’s Food and Spirits, owner Brian Kitten expressed worry about a proposed 20% tax on games of skill machines. Kitten emphasized the importance of these machines in generating revenue, especially during challenging times like the pandemic. He fears that implementing this tax could lead to further financial difficulties for his business.

The bill is still subject to change as it is being debated by senators, who may spend several days adjusting the language and specifics of the legislation. However, the goal remains clear: to provide much-needed property tax relief to Nebraskans. The path to achieving this relief is still being discussed in the legislative chamber.

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