Tax Relief

Watch now: Tax relief, opposition to mandates spark GOP governor debate | elections

Tax relief that’s centered on property tax reduction, and opposition to vaccine and mask mandates were common themes Thursday night as four Republican gubernatorial candidates met in a debate in Lincoln that was telecast statewide on Nebraska Public Media.

Sen. Brett Lindstrom of Omaha zeroed in on his record as a tax-cutter during eight years as a state senator and promised to provide the “next generation leadership and experience” that could help recruit and retain the workforce that Nebraska will need to prosper and grow.

Charles Herbster of Falls City pointed to his experience as a successful agri-businessman and promised to “push back against federal government overreach” if he is elected governor this year.

Former state Sen. Theresa Thibodeau of Omaha said she would provide “significant property tax relief” and protect Nebraska agriculture by resisting “big corporate farming.”

Breland Ridenour of Elkhorn said he would support tax reform based on adoption of a consumption tax that would “let you decide how much you pay and when you pay by making personal purchasing decisions.”

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Missing from the event was Jim Pillen of Columbus, one of the perceived front-runners, who said he would decline invitations to debate in order to free time for personal campaigning.

Lindstrom seized the occasion to make the case that he is the candidate whose “experience in building coalitions (in the Legislature) would allow us to get big things done” immediately as governor.

“I’m the only proven tax-cutter in this race,” he said, pointing to his legislative work in gradually eliminating state income taxation of Social Security income, supporting reductions in the state income tax rate and providing local property tax relief.

Herbster, who is generally regarded as the front-runner in polling results that appear to be narrowing in the race, said he would take action to “rebuild the entire tax code” to modernize a state tax system essentially constructed in 1967.

“America is in trouble,” he said. “Our faith is under attack; our families are under attack; our freedoms are under attack.”

The candidates generally supported protection of Nebraska’s water resources, including action to secure the flow of South Platte River water into Nebraska from Colorado by exercising the state’s century-old treaty rights to construct a canal and reservoir system.

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That project has been strongly recommended by Gov. Pete Ricketts.

There was some division over proposed construction of a new lake between Lincoln and Omaha.

Lindstrom said it would “help make Nebraska be competitive (and) be a very good investment” in the state’s future.

While supporting proposed improvements at Lake McConaughy near Ogallala, Thibodeau said she would “like to look at” the new lake proposal before endorsing it.

Ridenour said he could “potentially support the lake.”

Job training needs to be part of proposed prison reform, he said in answer to another question.

Herbster agreed, suggesting that the state needs to “help (inmates) learn a trade and a skill.”

Ridenour said he would push for expansion of broadband to serve farmers and ranchers in rural Nebraska and govern as “a constitutionalist.”

The primary election is May 10.

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2022 candidates for Nebraska governor


ILLUSTRATION BY CHARLOTTE HIGGINS, THE WORLD HERALD

Charles Herbster (R)


ILLUSTRATION BY CHARLOTTE HIGGINS, THE WORLD HERALD

Sen. Brett Lindstrom (R)


ILLUSTRATION BY CHARLOTTE HIGGINS, THE WORLD HERALD

Theresa Thibodeau (R)


ILLUSTRATION BY CHARLOTTE HIGGINS, THE WORLD HERALD

Breland Ridenour (R)


ILLUSTRATION BY CHARLOTTE HIGGINS, THE WORLD HERALD

Michael Connely (R)


ILLUSTRATION BY CHARLOTTE HIGGINS, THE WORLD HERALD

Sen. Carol Blood (D)


ILLUSTRATION BY CHARLOTTE HIGGINS, THE WORLD HERALD

Reach the writer at 402-473-7248 or dwalton@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSdon

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