Statements from Renee Fry, executive director of the OpenSky Policy Institute, about the ideas to cut income taxes and lower property taxes that were discussed by Gov. Dave Heineman on Wednesday.
About income tax cuts
"Income tax cuts have little-to-no economic benefit. Research shows they don’t create jobs and they do little to help the middle class. In fact, income tax cuts likely would hurt the state in the long run by draining resources from schools, health care and other building blocks of a strong economy."
About the use of the cash reserve to lower property taxes
“Using the cash reserve to lower property taxes is like putting a Band-Aid on a bullet hole. This would quickly deplete the cash reserve and then we’ll have to raise property taxes to offset the loss of income tax revenue. Furthermore, cutting our cash reserve below recommended levels is risky, especially as corn prices are dropping. Most states are looking to trying to strengthen their cash reserves -- not weaken them.”
About increasing state aid to local governments to lower property taxes, which the governor spoke against
"Nebraska ranked 43rd in the country in terms of state-aid to local governments and 49th in regards to state aid to schools. Low levels of state aid mean school districts and other local governments in Nebraska have to rely more heavily on property taxes to support the services they provide."