Since I took office as governor, easing property taxes has been my top priority. That’s because high property taxes continue to be the main concern I hear from Nebraskans. During this term, Senators have a unique opportunity to give families in Nebraska the relief they need. Nebraska’s economy was resilient from the pandemic, which resulted in strong tax revenues. This creates the prerequisites for the unicameral to achieve considerable relief in property tax.
Nebraskans from Gretna to Gothenburg feel the pain of onerous property taxes. In agriculture, high property taxes undermine margins and put the financial health of our family businesses at risk. This has a profound impact not only on rural communities, but also on our overall economy, as agriculture is our main industry. In our cities, property taxes jeopardize the American dream of owning a home for some and the dream of retirement for others. Family budgets just can’t keep up with the rapid rise in property taxes. High property taxes also hurt small businesses on the main highways and weigh on future investments as job creation faces the challenge of constantly increasing the cost of doing business.
Data shows that Nebraskans carry a heavy property tax burden. According to WalletHub, Nebraska has the eighth highest property tax rate in the nation. Our effective property tax rate is higher than in any neighboring country. For example, the median national home value in 2019 was $ 217,500. In Nebraska, owning this home would cost an average of $ 3,754 a year in property tax. The same house would have only $ 1,319 in annual property tax in Wyoming and $ 1,113 in Colorado. The bottom line is that Nebraska families pay thousands of dollars more in property taxes each year than families in the surrounding states.