Gering Senator John Stinner says it may be necessary to do more than a tweek to the Nebraska Tax Advantage Act.
The state’s major economic development incentive legislation expires in 2020 and the Chairman of the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee says initial discussions indicate a complete redo could be in the offing.
Stinner told KNEB News, “Interestingly nobody in western Nebraska has ever used it. It is very complex, It needs to be simplified. Is that a tweek or a complete redo? Based on Senator Chambers’ testimony last week during interim meetings, we need to take a look at redoing the entire Act.”
Stinner added before anything is done, “we need to have meetings where everybody is in the room contributing to the conversation.”
On another subject, Stinner said if Medicaid expansion is approved by voters in November, it will take six to nine months for the state to prepare to get the estimated additional 90,000 Nebraskans on the system. Stinner says the impact to the budget is estimated at $52 million and he’s hoping added revenue streams like internet sales tax, a projected $30 million, will help offset some of the initial cost.
Stinner also said he expects the state’s boon in state revenues to continue through 2019 despite low commodity prices for farmers. But he noted in 2020 economists believe there will be a cyclical downturn in the economy, partly due to rising interest rates, and it will be good to have $500 million in the state’s rainy day fund at that time.