To the editor:

I agree wholeheartedly with your editorial recently.

Six years ago then Gov. Heineman introduced a bill to do away with income tax and fund the State with sales tax.There was a public hearing that started about 6 p.m. and lasted until midnight. There were only three farmers who testified against it. Two from the eastern part of the State and only one west of Grand Island. That was my son-in-law. Chairman Senator Hadley praised him for traveling over 400 miles to testify for what he believed in.

Farm Bureau estimated should that bill pass it would have cost each farmer/rancher $29,000 more in taxes. Luckily, businesses and industry were all against it and it was defeated. Fast forward, the Senators for a Fair Tax introduced LB289. It allowed each student to receive state aid of $3,500. Each student from Omaha and Lincoln now receives $5,500 in state aid while Bridgeport and Kimball get $50 each (Equality before the law??). It raised the sales tax 3/4% to pay for it and would have lowered your property tax 35% of what it is. here was a hearing that started at 6 p.m. and lasted until midnight. There were three farmers from the eastern part of the State and one cattlemen’s organization from Cherry Co. that supported it. There were associations galore and individuals against it. There was no vote taken.

Farmers react instead of act. Maybe that is why we pay 60% of the cost of K-12 education. We pay 47% of our net income for property taxes. “We farmers pay the highest property tax in the nation. I adhere to a quote that I read some time ago. “I am not anonymous. I am not just a number. I am a resilient person who happens to be a farmer. I ask myself: If I am not for myself, who will be? If I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?”

Wilbert Ruppel


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