LIBA’s Legislative Update
The Lincoln Independent Business Association (LIBA) has been reviewing bills up for consideration during the 2018 Legislative Session. LIBA’s Board of Directors has approved several LIBA positions so far. These positions include support of three legislative bills and review of two tax plans.
LIBA is supporting the bills below:
LB510 from Senator Ebke provides a cap on installment contracts. During the past 10 years, Lincoln has gone from $1 million in debt to $40 million in debt using these contracts. The amendment for this bill should be public by the time this article is available. The bill as amended would reduce the amount of non-voter-approved debt in Lincoln by limiting installment contracts.
LB850 from Senator Linehan requires disclosure of costs to pay off bonds put to a vote. This would require disclosure of interest to be paid on the bond. You may recall the $369 million SCC bond that failed in 2017. The additional $105 million in interest was not promoted.
LB887 from Senator Murante requires 75% of all members of the governing body to vote in favor of an additional 1 percent increase in budget authority. This bill provides a higher standard for voting on increases in local budget authority.
LIBA is reviewing the bills below:
LB829 from Senator Erdman is the 50/50 plan. This plan is a tax plan that would return 50 percent of property taxes paid to schools to the property taxpayer. LIBA is reviewing this bill because it could lead to higher taxes just to pay for the plan.
LB947 from Senator Smith is the Governor’s tax plan. This plan provides a refundable credit against your income taxes. LIBA is concerned because this bill removes the exemption in state law for the first $10,000 of tangible personal property in each tax district. Additionally, due to the $230 lid on residential property tax relief, anyone with a home valued at over $260,000 is unlikely to see property tax relief. LIBA wants to see property tax relief for everyone. To that end, LIBA has met with the Governor’s staff to discuss potential changes to LB947.
On the city side of things, LIBA is also following the possibility of the city adding a ½ cent sale tax to fund roads. During the citizen committee meetings, LIBA asked several people to consider the following:
- Consider a ¼ cent instead of a ½ cent
- No bonding
- Use funds for roads and streets only
- Restrict the money from being used to pay city salaries
- Lower the wheel tax across all classes
As of press time, the city does not seem inclined to accept our recommendations. Why would LIBA oppose bonding the money? The state law requires that the sales tax end after 10 years, unless the money is bonded. If the city bonds the funds, then the tax can go on forever. We also oppose the continued diversion of street funds to pay city salaries and for sidewalks.
LIBA studies and promotes these types of issues that are important to businesses and our community. If you have an interest in joining LIBA, please call me at (402) 466-3419. LIBA membership is not restricted to just businesses. We also have “individual” memberships for those who want to help influence our local government decisions.
For more information on LIBA, visit Liba.org.