Omaha Lawmaker’s Constitutional Amendment on TIF, Advances

Omaha Lawmaker’s Constitutional Amendment on TIF, Advances
Senator Justin Wayne

BEATRICE – Debate resumed today in the Nebraska Legislature on a proposed constitutional amendment to allow areas defined as “extremely blighted” to use tax increment financing for up to 20 years, for redevelopment.

Senator Justin Wayne’s LR 14-C-A has been the subject of sharp differences in recent days…touching off a filibuster on other issues.  But today, his proposal advanced to the second round of consideration, on a 40-0 vote.

Legislative Speaker Jim Scheer likened Wayne’s effort to one in Norfolk years ago, to gain legislative approval for increased protection against flooding.

:19                  “enlarge the scope”

Under the state’s constitution, tax increment financing allows a period of up to 15 years, using the tax increment to pay bonds for eligible redevelopment expenses.

Senator Mark Kolterman, of Seward maintains the state needs to support tax increment financing as a tool for growth, in the state.

:30                  “growing the base”

Senator Mike Groene, of North Platte, feels the legislature needs to first solve the real problem in Nebraska…the property tax burden…before approving a change in the use of tax increment financing.

:38                  “sugar pills, at it”

Senator Wayne said he appreciated legislators willingness to continue the debate.

:31                  “big issues”

Wayne said local communities decide if they will make use of tax increment financing.  Although the amendment was introduced with his north Omaha district in mind, Wayne said it would also touch other areas of the state that are considered extremely blighted.

If given final approval, the proposed constitutional amendment would be submitted to the voters at the general election in November 2020.

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