Ag land valuation reduced for purposes of school bonding

Lawmakers approved a bill May 19 intended to shift the cost of school bonds away from owners of farm and ranch land.

Sen. Tom Briese
Sen. Tom Briese

Agricultural and horticultural land is valued at 75 percent of its actual value for purposes of property taxation under current law.

Under LB2, introduced by Albion Sen. Tom Briese, such land is valued at 50 percent of its actual value for purposes of school district taxes levied to pay the principal and interest on bonds approved by a vote of the people on or after the act’s operative date.

Omaha Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh opposed LB2. Under Briese’s proposal, she said, residential and commercial property owners would pay more in taxes to retire school bond debt.

Cavanaugh filed a motion to bracket the bill until June 6, which failed on a vote of 2-39.

After four hours of debate on final reading, Briese filed a motion to invoke cloture, which ceases debate and forces a vote on the bill and any pending amendments. It succeeded on a vote of 40-1. Thirty-three votes were needed.

Senators then voted 36-6 to pass LB2.

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