Dear Editor,

On May 1, at the Nebraska Capitol, a plan was presented to help remedy our runaway property tax issue. Senators and private citizens spoke about their concerns.

This group of citizens have crafted a petition to address rising property taxes. This is a non-political effort as the name TRUE, Tax Relief Unites Everyone ... the 35 percent Rebate/Refund Petition, would indicate. The most popular, unpopular, subject of landowners all over the state is property tax. The legislature and governor seem incapable of addressing this issue.

This 35 percent rebate/refund plan will be in the form of a Nebraska Constitutional Amendment. It is an exquisitely simple plan. You pay your property taxes to the county as usual and the county functions normally. The way it then works is the state credits you 35 percent of your paid property taxes onto your Nebraska income tax bill. If you paid less than 35 percent the state sends you a check for the difference. Either way it is money back in your pocket.

There is over a billion dollars worth of pork, waste and duplication of jobs in the Nebraska budget. There are 2,522 entities in Nebraska that are tax exempt. Such as the University of Nebraska which reports to have over $2 billion in their foundation. Wealthy companies and foundations with millions if not billions in their coffers .... paying no taxes.

Volunteers gathering 160,000 petition signatures hope to have this on the 2020 ballot. This way “We the People,” the second house in Nebraska, will have the opportunity to vote on this issue. Possibly there will be some action in the unicameral in 2019. However the only other plan out there right now is to shift, raise and trade current taxes. But in reality, we need a reduced budget and we need to stay within it.

Nebraskans pay the seventh highest property taxes in the U.S. Even if we get the 35 percent rebate we will the be 18th. Nothing to be proud of. Property taxes are rising at twice the pace of inflation. Data was released a few months ago indicating we are the third highest taxed state in the nation.

The Unicameral says they can’t do anything. What? They wouldn’t even adopt a simple increase freeze to buy time to work out a solution. They dictate spending and the rules of taxation. If they can’t fix it, then it’s high time that we, the second house, do it for them.

Remember you don’t get the tax relief you deserve, you get the tax relief you demand. The petitions are printed and are being distributed and signed. We are ready. But we need your help. Please help us by carrying a petition and spreading the word about this volunteer effort. We need action by many to accomplish this solution

Barb Otto, O’Neill

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