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Nebraskans Need Lower Taxes

By Governor Dave Heineman

September 27, 2013

Dear Fellow Nebraskans:

The discussion about Nebraska’s tax policy is occurring all across our state and it will be the key issue of the 2014 legislative session.

Periodically, I will be writing a column about what Nebraskans and Nebraska organizations are saying about our tax policy. This week’s column is about what the OpenSky Policy Institute is advocating. This organization is a relatively new organization and frequently references the Washington, D.C. based liberal think tank organization, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

On Sept. 20, the OpenSky Policy Institute issued a white paper about its views on Nebraska’s tax policies. This group wants to increase taxes on low and middle income Nebraskans in order to increase government spending on their favorite programs.

The OpenSky Policy Institute wants to tax more services and allow counties to increase taxes. This group opposes reducing the individual income tax and the corporate tax and they oppose exempting social security income from taxation.

As Governor, I want to lower taxes on Nebraskans, not increase them as advocated by the OpenSky Policy Institute. Taxing more services, thereby increasing taxes on low and middle income Nebraskans, is not a good idea.

The OpenSky Policy Institute is opposed to reducing taxes on small businesses. Most small businesses pay their taxes through the individual income tax system and that’s one reason it is so important to reduce individual income taxes.

Small businesses are the economic engine of Nebraska and small businesses need lower taxes to help them grow. The OpenSky Policy Institute’s opposition to lowering taxes on small businesses by reducing individual income taxes is not sound and responsible economic policy.

I am disappointed that the OpenSky Policy Institute wants to increase taxes on Nebraskans in order to increase government spending. I disagree with this group’s idea of increased taxes and increased spending.

Nebraska is in much better economic shape than the rest of the country because we balance our budget by controlling spending, not by raising taxes. We believe in a fundamental financial principle – we don’t spend money we don’t have.

We’ve made the tough budget choices and our policies have helped create an environment where private sector job growth is increasing. We’ve passed the largest tax relief package in the history of the state and the results speak for themselves.

Nebraska has the third lowest unemployment rate in America at 4.2 percent. CNBC ranks Nebraska the fourth best business friendly state.

We need lower taxes, not higher taxes. 


- Dave Heineman
    Governor of Nebraska


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