Bill to end tax credit amended, advanced

After amending it to provide aid to Nebraskans affected by recent flooding, lawmakers advanced a bill May 21 intended to increase assistance available to startup companies through the state Department of Economic Development.

<a href='http://news.legislature.ne.gov/dist48' target='_blank' title='Link to the website of Sen. John Stinner'>Sen. John Stinner</a>
Sen. John Stinner

LB334, as introduced by Gering Sen. John Stinner, would eliminate the Angel Investment Tax Credit and appropriate the $4 million cost savings to the DED to fund programs under the Business Innovation Act. The Angel Investment Tax Credit currently is scheduled to terminate in 2022.

Elkhorn Sen. Lou Ann Linehan offered an amendment during select file debate that instead would direct the $4 million to the state Military Department in fiscal year 2020-21 for the governor’s emergency program.

“This amendment is brought to provide additional, faster relief due to flooding this spring,” Linehan said.

Funds would be directed to the Business Innovation Act beginning in FY2021-22.

An Appropriations Committee amendment adopted on general file would:
• make the development of rules and regulations for the state’s Enterprise Zone program permissive, rather than mandatory;
• specify that a $100,000 reduction in the Angel Investment Tax Credit Act in 2019 be used to increase the appropriation to the state Department of Revenue to implement LB334;
• provide that beginning in 2020 and in every even-numbered year thereafter, the DED assess and evaluate the economic impact of programs funded under the Business Innovation Act; and
• specify that beginning with the next biennial budget review process, the Appropriations Committee conduct a biennial analysis of the financial status and impact of programs funded under the Business Innovation Act.

LB334 also includes provisions of LB452, sponsored by Elmwood Sen. Robert Clements, which would transfer Cass County from its current planning and development region to Region 8, known as the Metropolitan Area Planning Agency. The provisions also would place a moratorium on future boundary changes until July 1, 2020.

Following adoption of the Linehan amendment 37-0, senators advanced LB334 to final reading by voice vote.

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