College savings proposal, military housing tax exemption vetoed

Gov. Pete Ricketts vetoed a bill June 4 that exempted military housing units from property taxation and allowed an income tax deduction against employer contributions to state college savings accounts.

As introduced by Gretna Sen. Andrew La Grone, LB470 would have allowed individuals to claim a state income tax deduction on contributions they make to any Nebraska educational savings plan trust account.

The bill was amended on select file to remove La Grone’s proposal because of its implementation cost.

As amended on general file, LB470 included provisions of two other bills: LB444, sponsored by Omaha Sen. Mike McDonnell, and LB545, introduced by Sen. Justin Wayne, also of Omaha.

Under Wayne’s measure, an individual’s federal adjusted gross income would have been reduced by the amount contributed to the individual’s NEST account by his or her employer.

McDonnell’s proposal would have exempted military dwelling complexes from property taxation but required the owners of those dwelling complexes to make payments in lieu of taxes to local school districts, the county in which the complex is located and an infrastructure maintenance trust fund used for capital repairs, maintenance and improvement of the complex.

According to a state attorney general’s opinion, Ricketts said in his veto message, the bill violates the state constitution because it would have redefined real property as tangible personal property.

LB470 passed 43-2 May 30. The 2019 session ended May 31.

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