Gov. Pillen announces second property tax relief town hall in Grand Island

Jim Pillen leads a property tax town hall in Bellevue
Jim Pillen leads a property tax town hall in Bellevue
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen addresses the first of his town hall meetings to boost support for his property tax relief proposals in Bellevue as State Sen. Rita Sanders listens in front row. May 3, 2024. (Aaron Sanderford/Nebraska Examiner)

LINCOLN — Gov. Jim Pillen announced Friday the second of his property tax relief town halls, setting the next one in Grand Island ahead of a promised special session.

Pillen’s second stop will be “one of many,” his office states, before a special session is expected to be scheduled in late July. The tour comes as the governor remains committed to pitching to voters $2 billion of relief from the state’s $5 billion in annually collected property taxes.

Lawmakers have already made strides of up to $1 billion of that goal, but the governor is trying to find the remaining relief to finish his 40% goal.

The Grand Island town hall will be Friday, May 17, at 1:30 p.m. at The Hideout, 1607 S Locust St., Suite C.

A schedule of future town halls has not been released.

“Nebraskans across the state have made clear that they expect state leaders to solve the property tax crisis,” Pillen said in a Friday statement.

“While we are counting on the Legislature to develop the right solution, all Nebraskans must be part of this conversation,” the governor continued. “The Legislature failed to pass any property tax relief in the regular session but we will finish the job in a special session.”

Pillen wants lawmakers to pull forward, or “front-load,” about $750 million in already approved income tax credits for property taxes paid, he said May 3 at Bellevue University. 

Another $248 million in property tax relief has already come as the state picks up more of the tab for community colleges, rounding out the first $1 billion in relief.

The governor has remained firm in suggestions to increase the state sales tax by up to a 1-cent, which would raise nearly $500 million. Critics have said that doing so wouldn’t lower taxes.

Pillen has also suggested fewer sales tax exemptions in order to “broaden the base.”

Some lawmakers already gave those ideas a cold shoulder in the spring, which led the key sponsor of this year’s bill — State Sen. Lou Ann Linehan of Elkhorn — to pull her proposal, Legislative Bill 388, before a final vote on the last legislative session day in April.

Linehan, the Legislature’s Revenue Committee chair, said Pillen “gave all kinds of warnings” of a special session, so she wasn’t surprised he committed to calling one.

“I’ve already told the Revenue Committee that we’re going to be working this summer,” she told the Nebraska Examiner on April 18.

The post Gov. Pillen announces second property tax relief town hall in Grand Island appeared first on Nebraska Examiner.