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Day after debate, Sen. Krist says Gov. Ricketts out of touch with average Nebraskans

LINCOLN, NE – The day after his first debate with Gov. Pete Ricketts, Sen. Bob Krist said today that Ricketts showed he is out of touch with Nebraskans who are concerned about the growing property tax crisis.

“The governor’s tax plan he proposed this year would have given large corporate income tax cuts, including a $13 million tax cut to his family’s company, while the average Nebraska homeowner would only get $25,” Krist said.

“During yesterday’s debate the governor tried to downplay his family connections to TD Ameritrade, claiming that they only own ten percent of the company. Well, ten percent of $13 million is still $1.3 million. I would venture to guess that the average Nebraskan would think that a $1.3 million tax cut is a pretty big deal. The fact that the governor doesn’t think this is a big deal again shows how out of touch he is with the average Nebraska,” Krist said.

“Even his own supporters, the most conservative members of the Legislature, fought against his bill and understood that it did not provide real property tax relief, “ Kris said. Here’s what Sen. Erdman and Sen. Groene said about the governor’s tax proposal.”

Sen. Steve Erdman, Bayard, April 3, 2018, Lincoln Journal Star

Sen. Steve Erdman of Bayard led opposition to the bill, describing it as "a joke (and) an illusion," a proposal that would take a decade to fully implement. "This is too little and too late," Erdman argued. "This governor never has been and never will be for property tax relief," he said.

Sen. Mike Groene, North Platte, April 9, 2018, KODY Radio, North Platte

“They claim it’s about property tax but it’s a corporate income tax cut. He (Ricketts) wants corporate income tax cuts, (he) doesn’t understand how bad the property tax problem is. If we want a little property tax cut, we've got to give him corporate income tax cuts. He’s saying property tax relief, but look behind the curtain. He wants corporate income tax cuts for his friends.”

“Second, the governor claimed that I introduced legislation that would have raised property taxes. The governor should know better. The bill would not change the level of appropriations allocated for the property tax credit program.  The Legislative Fiscal Office analysis of the legislation estimated that there would be no change in funding for the program. The governor's comments here are simply a scare tactic to try and take attention away from his own failures on property taxes.” Krist said.

“The real problem is the governor’s lack of fiscal responsibility. The discussion I led on the floor of the Nebraska Legislature focused on the fact that we were raiding our rainy day fund in ways that are not sustainable,” he said.

“During Ricketts’ term, the rainy day fund has been depleted dramatically. In Ricketts first year in office, there was $718 million in it, now the fund is down to $296 million, a decrease of over $422 million, or a drop of nearly 60 percent. The amount of funds in the rainy day fund right now is enough to fund our state budget for only 24 days,” Krist said.


August 31, 2018 
Contact: Dan Parsons