Wednesday the Jan. 8 was the first day of the second session of the 106th Legislature. In addition to the nine bills carried-over from the last session, I introduced nine bills, and I may introduce a couple more. Here is a brief summary of these bills.

LB 818 is a bill that updates the nameplate capacity tax for industrial wind turbines. This tax is paid in-lieu of property taxes and it hasn’t been updated since it was introduced ten years ago. This bill would adjust this tax by the consumer price index each year so the tax rate paid by the wind companies is increased by this adjustment annually.

LB 819 is a bill that un-taxes Social Security benefits. Nebraska is one of only a handful of States that apply income taxes to Social Security. This is wrong for a long list of reasons. Social Security is the ONLY INCOME for over 2/3 of people currently drawing these benefits. The $120 million dollars Nebraska currently takes from our senior’s Social Security checks will do far more good in the hands of the people who earned it and have already paid taxes on in the first place.

LB 820 and LB 822 are “clean-up” bills I introduced for the Secretary of State. They make small administrative updates to our election laws.

LB 821 is a bill I introduced on behalf of the city of Rushville that updates the law concerning city planning and zoning commission meetings.

LB 823 is a bill that addresses how our public power companies use eminent domain. If the project in question would use eminent domain because an out-of-state organization requested the project, then a special election in the counties effected would be held. The people would decide if eminent domain could be used.

LR283CA is a proposed constitutional amendment to change one word in the constitution. Instead of “every” citizen can vote, this would read “only” citizens can vote in our elections.

LR284CA is a proposed constitutional amendment to eliminate the income tax. Business incentive bills called “economic development” will be a big part of this session. I just can’t see how spending billions of dollars and letting government bureaucrats pick winners and losers in Nebraska’s economy is a good idea. Instead, lets become the tenth State in the union that doesn’t have an income tax. Let the rising tide lift ALL the boats.

LR285CA is a proposed constitutional amendment to re-direct a portion of the $45 million in annual revenue the State collects from the lottery to a fund that is designed to address the ongoing problems in Nebraska’s Department of Corrections. Once the problems are fixed, the money reverts back to its current distribution.

Please contact my office with any comments, questions or concerns. Email me at; tbrewer@leg.ne.gov. Mail a letter to; Sen. Tom Brewer, Room #1101, P.O. Box 94604, Lincoln, NE 68509 or call us at 402-471-2628.

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