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Oppose LB 1315: Raises sales tax to 6.5%, disproportionally impacting Nebraskans with low incomes

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

My name is Garret Swanson, G-A-R-R-E-T S-W-A-N-S-O-N and I am here on behalf of the Holland Children’s Movement, a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that strives to fulfill its vision for Nebraska to become a beacon in economic security and opportunity for all children and families, in opposition to LB 1315.

We commend this Committee and Senator Linehan for working towards solutions that will lower property taxes. However, lowering property taxes by increasing sales taxes is a regressive solution that will disproportionally hurt lower-earning Nebraskans. 

Other speakers have and will touch on the economic drawbacks and consequences of raising the sales tax. For my testimony, I want to touch on recent polling done to gauge what the Second House believes about this issue and related ones. A poll published today by our sister organization, the Holland Children’s Institute, offers us some insight.

First, for the first time since the Institute began polling in July of 2019, most Nebraskans believe the state is moving in the wrong direction. With 52% of Nebraskans believing that the state is moving in the wrong direction compared to 39% of Nebraskans believing that the state is moving in the right direction. Second, when it comes to who Nebraskans trust to be good stewards of their tax dollars, 52% of Nebraskans believe Local Governments are better stewards of tax dollars than the Legislature (25%). Meanwhile, only 18% of Nebraskans trust the Governor to be a better steward of tax dollars compared to Local Governments (55%).

When it comes to property taxes directly, Nebraskans were asked about several solutions to lower property taxes. When Nebraskans were asked if they believed the state should offer income tax rebates to homeowners and businesses to offset skyrocketing property taxes, 42% preferred that solution. Meanwhile, 39% believed that the state government needs to better fund programs and services such as roads, schools, and public safety to take the burden off of local governments. 18% did not know.

Finally, Senators, when respondents were asked directly if they would support reducing property taxes by raising sales taxes from 5.5% to 6.5%, 43% were in net favor while 45% were net opposed while 12% didn’t know or had no opinion.

See the results of the latest poll here.

Garret Swanson

Garret Swanson

Director of Strategic Engagement
Holland Children's Movement