Fudging About Tax Burdens: Nebraska Gov. Heineman

Ed Howard clears up (slightly) some of the confusion about Nebraska’s tax rates – in his daily newsletter from Nebraska State Paper.

The Governor is pushing income tax cuts as a dire necessity to reduce “your” tax burden.

Some say “your” tax burden will be reduced only if you make over $90,000 per year. (See Kyle’s article at New Nebraska Network.) So Heineman’s tax relief probably misses the community college kids the last post mentioned – and the vast majority of their families – and the vast majority of Nebraskans.

We did some research on Nebraska’s status as a high-tax state. Governor Heineman noted in his budget plan – which includes proposed reductions in state income tax rates for many people – that Nebraska is among the nation’s “leaders” in taxation.

However – a look at all of the other states so listed shows that they burden their citizens with high income or sales tax.

How did Nebraska make the list? On the basis of local property taxes. Not the individual income tax, or the sales tax. Local property taxes.

(It goes without saying – but we will say it – that Nebraska’s enormous tax breaks for corporations are legendary.)

If I didn’t know I’d guess – on this basis alone – that Heinemann is a Republican. My guess would be right.

It’s important to note, also, that lower tax takes (via income tax cuts or corporate tax giveaways) in Lincoln will only increase the unjustly distributed property tax burdens in this state. That, or further curtail the quality of education and other services out here. Or both.

David Hahn, the Governor’s recent Democratic opponent for that office, was MUCH more straightforward and thorough in describing the tax situation in Nebraska. He talked sense about property taxes and about those massive and largely unaccountable corporate tax give-aways.

So does Heinemann just not understand it? Or … ?

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