Farmers share an interest in job creation and a better state economy, but do not believe comprehensive tax reform can be accomplished without considering property taxes, the president of Nebraska Farm Bureau said Thursday.
"We are very open to a conversation about Nebraska tax policy and tax reform," said Steve Nelson, "However, what was proposed in the Governor’s plan is disappointing in that it reflects a huge tax increase on farm and ranch families.”
“It is widely understood that Nebraska and its citizens have weathered the nation's economic troubles better than the rest of the country due to the strength of agriculture, our state’s number one industry," Nelson said. "It is difficult to see how raising taxes on families involved in farming and ranching can help grow the state's economy.”
Nelson noted that farmers and ranchers face the prospect of a second year of drought as well as higher input costs. He said agriculture is a cyclical business.
"Decisions about agriculture’s treatment in our state’s tax policy should be based on historical performance and not simply a few good years," he said.
“Agriculture and associated businesses are a primary job creator in our state, accounting for one out of every four jobs. Tax policy that harms agriculture will cost the state jobs and will not be good for Nebraska,” Nelson said.