Last week I attended a Property Tax Town Hall hosted by the Platte Institute in North Platte. A number of other Senators were there. Senators Groene, Linehan and Lowe made up a panel who took questions and discussed the property tax crisis we have in Nebraska. The aim of events like this is to inform citizens around the State, and to help people understand how difficult getting something passed in the legislature really is. Much of the discussion was centered on LB 289 from the last session. This was the best chance we had to finally pass meaningful property tax relief, but it was killed by a filibuster. The senators did a good job at this town hall, and the Platte Institute always puts on a first-class event. I think Senator Lowe summed things up very well when he said;
“We’ve got one more chance…If we can’t get this passed in this next session, it’s up to the people of Nebraska.” I wholeheartedly agree.
I support efforts to resurrect LB 289 next session, and will continue to fight for a legislative solution to this problem. Unfortunately, the ideological composition of the legislature is not going to change between now and next session. Senators who were a “no” vote before will likely be again. We can all “hope” they change their minds, but as General Petraeus said in Iraq, “Hope is a poor course of action.” I think the legislature is stuck in a political log jam. We’re hopelessly deadlocked on this issue. If there was a realistic chance of passing a legislative solution to this problem, it would have happened long ago. It’s time for the people of Nebraska to take matters into their own hands and finally fix this terrible problem.
In 1912, Nebraska became one of 12 states that have in their constitutions the right of the people to introduce constitutional amendments, introduce laws, and repeal laws. This is commonly referred to as a “ballot initiative or referendum.” After collecting a specified amount of signatures from registered voters around the State, a question is then put on the general election ballot. If it receives a majority of votes, the measure becomes law without any action by the legislature or the governor. “The People” can pass laws in Nebraska, and it’s high time they did. The ballot initiative is the only realistic way this problem is ever going to be addressed.
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I strongly encourage Nebraskans to sign the petition and visit: truenebraskans.com and get involved. The idea is very simple. 35% of your property tax bill will be refunded to you by the State if this ballot initiative passes. About 120,000 signatures need to be turned in to the Secretary of State on 3 July 2020. TrueNebraskans are off to a great start, but they could really use your help.
In other news, I am looking for a new Administrative Assistant. This is a full-time position with state-employee benefits. Interested parties should send me a resume.
Please contact my office with any comments, questions or concerns. Email me at email@example.com, mail a letter to Sen. Tom Brewer, Room #1423, P.O. Box 94604, Lincoln, NE 68509, or call us at (402) 471-2628.