Republican Farmers and Ranchers for Krist is a new Political Action Committee (PAC) formed due to the complete lack of attention to the property tax crisis by Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts.
The PAC will utilize radio and newspaper advertising across rural Nebraska to send the message change is needed in the governor's office. The PAC will focus fundraising efforts on farm and ranch families, who are angered over the refusal of Governor Ricketts to implement significant tax reforms.
"Those with Nebraskan ag interests pay the highest property taxes, per capita, in the nation,” said David Wright, Republican Farmers and Ranchers for Krist treasurer. “By comparison, Nebraska farmers and ranchers pay more than $22,000 per capita, which is $9,000 more than their counterparts in California and $13,000 more than the average Iowa farmer," said Wright. “Calculating additional input costs for fertilizer and irrigation, Iowa farmers turn profits at a much lower price per bushel than Nebraskans.”
Nebraska homeowners are also expressing frustration as having to pay the seventh highest property tax rate in the country. Wright ranches in Holt County, Nebraska, lives in Neligh and serves on the Neligh-Oakdale Public School Board of Education. He is acutely aware of the lack of state resources provided to most rural schools by the state, forcing boards of education to rely on property taxes for the bulk of school funding.
"Nebraska provides a meager amount of state aid per capita," Wright said. "We rank 49th of 50 states for state aid, with 175 of the 245 districts in the state receiving no equalization aid, and the remaining 70 districts receiving nearly $1 billion.” And even Nebraska homeowners are distressed, paying the 7th highest property tax in the country."
According to Wright, some Nebraska farmers pay in excess of $110 per acre in property taxes while cow-calf producers are required to kick in more than $100 per each calf raised.
In 2013, the Nebraska Legislature conducted a tour of the state with a plan to modernize the state's tax structure. The leading recommendation from that study was to address the issue of outlying property taxes. Since that time, the problem has only escalated. Although Ricketts has introduced some legislation, featuring property tax relief, his primary focus has been on reducing individual and corporate state income tax.
Wright and the eight members who formed Farmers and Ranchers for Krist, claim Ricketts is uninterested in rural Nebraska and a reform of the state tax structure is long overdue.
For further information about Farmers and Ranchers for Krist, contact David Wright at 402-929-0339. PAC donations may be sent in care of Al Davis at 7200 SW 27, Lincoln, NE 69523. Wright and Davis serve on the Board of Directors of the Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska.
For more information, contact:
ICON president David Wright, 402-929-0339
ICON director Al Davis, 308-458-9948
Communications Director Linda Wuebben, 402-357-3778.