Nebraska will get an extra $266 million in tax revenue for the state budget between now and June 2021, based on new estimates that could give lawmakers more wiggle room to pay for state government services and cut property taxes.
Members of the Nebraska Economic Forecasting Advisory Board approved the new projections Thursday, citing a strong state economy.
Under state law, about $161 million of that total will flow automatically into the state’s cash reserve fund, which is designed for emergencies and one-time expenses.
That will leave lawmakers and Gov. Pete Ricketts with about $102 million in leftover money at their disposal in next year’s session, after accounting adjustments.
Governor Ricketts told KNEB News that since the budget is already set, there is no reason to look at additional spending. He says what we have to do is focus on using this money to allow property tax relief to move full steam ahead during the upcoming legislative session.
Senator Lou Ann Linehan, chairwoman of the Revenue Committee, agrees with the governor, saying lawmakers need to use that money to lower property taxes.
Appropriations Committee Chair Senator John Stinner told KNEB News they certainly intend on working with the governor on tax relief. He says it also gives them the opportunity to replenish the rainy day fund, provide funding for the flood contingency and other initiatives. Still, Stinner says he is concerned about revisions in terms of the state of agriculture in our state with regard to flooding, low prices, and lower yields. Still, he says it’s nice to have room to maneuver.