LINCOLN, NEB. – Improving Nebraska’s tax system to reduce the overreliance on property taxes and expanding markets for Nebraska agricultural commodities through international trade are among the list of policy priorities adopted by the Nebraska Farm Bureau’s State Board of Directors during the organization’s board meeting held Aug. 8 in Norfolk.
“We deal with many issues today in agriculture, but it’s important we focus our time and resources on the issues that are key to helping the bottom line for our members and for agriculture as a whole,” said Steve Nelson, Nebraska Farm Bureau president. “The recent board action updated our priorities to reflect the organization’s top five state and top five national issues.”
Included on the list of state issues is the need to address the high property tax burden on Nebraskans. According to Nelson, finding a solution to the property tax issue has consumed much of Farm Bureau’s time and efforts for the last several years and has continued since the close of the 2017 legislative session.“We’re working with a wide array of partners, rural and urban, to identify the concepts and ideas that can generate real and meaningful property tax reforms. Nebraska doesn’t have to be a high property tax state. Working together, we can change that. We’re committed to doing so,” said Nelson.
The national list includes the need for expanded trade opportunities for Nebraska agricultural commodities and products.
“Today, roughly one-third of U.S. gross cash farm income is directly attributable to trade. The ability to move our Nebraska agricultural commodities into these markets is critical. Continuing to build upon our relationships with our international partners is a must,” said Nelson.
Nebraska Farm Bureau’s state priority list includes:
- Improving Nebraska’s tax system to reduce the overreliance on property taxes.
- Growing Nebraska’s livestock sector.
- Expanding farm and ranch access to high quality broadband Internet service statewide.
- Proactive engagement on both state water quality and quantity issues.
- Working for sound infrastructure and agriculture transportation policies.
Nebraska Farm Bureau’s national priorities list includes:
- Expanding markets for Nebraska agricultural commodities through International trade.
- Reducing unnecessary regulations and working for regulatory reform.
- Working to lower health care costs for farm and ranch families.
- Improving the federal tax code through tax reform.
- Developing a Farm Bill that provides a workable safety net for Nebraska’s farm and ranch families.
“Certainly, these aren’t the only issues that our organization is engaged in, but by focusing in these areas we can help improve the environment and create opportunities for our farm and ranch members to be successful,” said Nelson.