Property tax relief measure advanced

More retirees would be eligible for property tax relief under a bill advanced from general file March 6.

LB986, introduced by the Revenue Committee, would change the Nebraska homestead exemption program by increasing the maximum eligible income from $28,500 to $46,900 for partial exemptions to married claimants older than 65. The maximum eligible income for partial exemptions to single claimants older than 65 would increase from $24,200 to $39,500.

The Nebraska homestead exemption program gives property tax relief to homeowners who are more than 65 years old, are disabled or who are totally disabled veterans or their surviving spouses.

Citing a recent report calling Nebraska one of the 12 worst states in which to retire, Hadley said LB986 would address older citizens’ complaints about property taxes.

“We haven’t done a good enough job of looking at our retirees and making Nebraska a fairer place for people to retire,” he said. “One of the keys to having people retire and stay in Nebraska is the ability for them to keep their home. I can think of nothing more heart wrenching than a person to lose their home based on their inability to pay for property taxes on the home.”

Syracuse Sen. Dan Watermeier introduced an amendment, adopted 32-0, that added people with developmental disabilities to the list of those eligible for the exemptions. Watermeier said the bill represents an opportunity to elevate the quality of life for more Nebraskans.

“Any time you keep someone, like a DD person, out of an institution and in their own home, you can just see the pride well up in them,” Watermeier said.

Following adoption of a technical committee amendment on a 34-0 vote, senators advanced the bill to select file 34-0.

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