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Ricketts talks state of the state at fly-around event Wednesday

12 January 2018

"In the spirit of cooperation, we come together each year to accomplish the priorities that matter most to Nebraskans", Ricketts said during his fourth annual address.

"We must help all Nebraskans keep more of their hard-earned money and attract more people to come to our state", Ricketts said.

Olson said after the governor's town hall discussion that he had met with Ricketts on Tuesday to pose the question to him directly. Last year, Nebraska recorded record levels of employment - "1 million nonfarm jobs" - while also the lowest unemployment rate - 2.7 percent - since 1999.

The proposal will replace the governor's previous tax plan (LB461) that was trapped by a filibuster past year.

Republican Governor of Nebraska Pete Ricketts speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Oxon Hill, Maryland, U.S. February 24, 2017.

"Folks, this matters because when companies move here and invest, they create job opportunities for people", he said. The Tax Foundation ranks Nebraska's property taxes as 11th highest in the nation and income tax as 26th highest.

Trade missions to Canada, China, Japan, Denmark and elsewhere have spurred growth on the Great Plains, Ricketts said.

Sen. Bob Krist of Omaha said he'd like to see the Legislature also consider some opportunities to increase revenue without hiking tax rates as it struggles with a revenue shortfall.

"I don't think his proposal is enough and not soon enough", he said. "Besides the good-paying jobs and investment, Kawasaki supports local charities and uses local vendors".

Property tax relief will now be delivered as a credit on state taxes, to ensure Nebraska property taxpayers receive relief.

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Other ag commodities are also finding new markets worldwide, Ricketts said, which are being opened by efforts from the Department of Agriculture and Department of Economic Development. He added Nebraska is seeing investment from companies such as Cargill, Facebook, Hudl and Novomynes.

The proposal would provide a first round of increased property tax reduction by restructuring the state's current property tax credit fund into a new refundable income tax credit available only to owner-occupied households in Nebraska and agricultural landowners and producers who live in the state. We couldn't agree more with Gov. Ricketts that we need tax relief done this year.

Those property owners would receive a credit on their state income taxes equal to 10 percent of the tax bill on their home or farm.

Nebraska Department of Revenue analysis shows that 90 percent of taxes paid by individuals are paid in the top tax rate, which starts at $29,800 for individuals.

Stopping at Western Nebraska Regional Airport Wednesday afternoon, Ricketts said the state remains economically strong with an unemployment rate of just 2.9 percent and the investment of about $1 billion from corporations expanding into Nebraska.

"We have our work cut out for us, but I have no doubt we are up to the challenge", he said.

To help balance the budget with those proposed cuts, Ricketts proposed slowing state spending from a 0.6 percent increase this year to 0.2 percent next year.

Ricketts plans to revise the distribution of federal Title X family planning funds in his state to ensure no health facilities are receiving the funding unless they are totally separate from any entity that performs abortions.

"I'm happy to report that the state of the state is strong and growing", he said, listing several economic development projects and global trade deals.

Ricketts talks state of the state at fly-around event Wednesday