Revenue package containing good life district changes approved

Lawmakers gave final approval April 18 to a package of tax-related measures, including one under which cities may use local tax revenue to pay for the development of special retail districts.

Sen. Lou Ann Linehan
Sen. Lou Ann Linehan

LB1317, sponsored by Elkhorn Sen. Lou Ann Linehan, was introduced as a placeholder. As amended, it contains the provisions of several other bills heard by the Revenue Committee this session.

The provisions of LB863, also introduced by Linehan, eliminate an income tax deduction for amounts received as annuities under the Federal Employees Retirement System.

Under provisions of LB893, introduced by Sen. Teresa Ibach of Sumner, business equipment involved in the manufacturing or processing of liquid fertilizer or any other chemical applied to crops — or the manufacturing of any liquid additive for a farm vehicle fuel — qualify for a property tax exemption under the ImagiNE Nebraska Act.

The amended provisions of LB1043, introduced by Omaha Sen. Terrell McKinney, require certain nonprofit organizations that own or acquire underutilized tax-exempt property in a high-poverty area to develop the property within three years.

The amended provisions of LB1093, sponsored by Sen. Eliot Bostar of Lincoln, update the First Responder Recruitment and Retention Act, which provides tuition assistance to qualifying first responders.

The provisions expand and clarify the definition of first responder to include any law enforcement officer and professional firefighter.

They also, with certain exceptions, prohibit an employer from canceling a first responder’s individual or family health insurance policy if the first responder suffers serious bodily injury from an event that occurs while the first responder is acting in the line of duty.

Under the amended provisions of LB1134, introduced by Elkhorn Sen. R. Brad von Gillern, interest on refunds and additional taxes due as a result of a decision on a property’s valuation by the Tax Equalization and Review Commission will begin to accrue 30 days after the decision.

The provisions also allow two commissioners to constitute a quorum to hear and determine appeals or petitions.

Provisions of Bostar’s LB1184 state legislative intent to appropriate $1 million in general funds for fiscal year 2024-25 to the state Department of Environment and Energy to fund the installation of real-time nitrate sensors in monitoring wells.

The amended provisions of LB1217, sponsored by Bostar, update requirements for owners of rent-restricted housing projects and change how county assessors calculate valuation for those projects. They also allow the owner of a sales-restricted house to apply to the county assessor for a special valuation.

Under the provisions, certain nursing and assisted-living facilities will receive a property tax exemption based on the percentage of occupied beds provided to Medicaid beneficiaries. LB1317 also applies a property tax exemption to the commons area of a building that is owned by a charitable organization and used for student housing.

The amended provisions of LB1218, introduced by Bostar, impose an excise tax of 3 cents per kilowatt hour on the electricity used to charge electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles at a commercial electric vehicle charging station, beginning Jan. 1, 2028.

They also increase the additional registration fee for each motor vehicle powered by an alternative fuel from $75 to $150. The additional fee for a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle is $75.

Under LB1317, an electric supplier may own, maintain and operate a direct-current, fast-charging station for retail services only at a location that is at least 15 miles from a privately owned station and at least one mile from a federally designated alternative fuel corridor.

An electric supplier is required to conduct a right of first refusal process before beginning construction of a fast-charging station.

Those requirements for electric suppliers end Dec. 1, 2027. Effective Jan. 1, 2028, an electric supplier cannot operate a fast-charging station within 10 miles of a privately owned station that already is in operation or has a building permit and interconnection request to the electric supplier.

The provisions of LB1295, sponsored by von Gillern, create the Financial Institution Data Match Act. The measure requires the state Department of Revenue to operate a data match system with each financial institution doing business in Nebraska.

Under the system, the department will provide financial institutions a list of individuals with unpaid taxes that the institutions will match to their account records. Institutions will provide the department with a list of all matches.

Provisions of LB1305, sponsored by Sen. Ben Hansen of Blair, expand the definition of bullion and add or subtract net capital gains or losses to or from federal adjusted gross income, unless the gain or loss is derived from the sale of bullion as a taxable distribution from a retirement plan account.

The Good Life Transformational Projects Act, passed by the Legislature last year, authorizes the state Department of Economic Development to approve applications for “good life districts” that meet certain thresholds related to investment and job creation. Transactions within a district are subject to a reduced state sales tax rate of 2.75%.

Under the provisions of LB1374, introduced by Linehan, a city may — with voter approval — establish an economic development program for an area of the city included in a good life district and appropriate local sources of revenue to pay for development costs.

The provisions of LB1389, sponsored by Bostar, exempt broadband equipment from personal property tax if it is deployed in an area using federal Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment Program funds or in a qualified census tract located in a metropolitan class city and used to provide internet access at certain speeds.

The provisions of LB1397, introduced by Glenvil Sen. Dave Murman, exclude land used for commercial purposes that are not agricultural or horticultural — such as land used for a solar farm or wind farm — from the definition of agricultural and horticultural land for valuation purposes.

LB1317 also makes changes intended to improve the accuracy of currently required reports on inheritance tax collected by counties and creates a collection system to intercept an individual’s gambling winnings to pay off any child support debts or unpaid taxes.

Finally, the bill allows a publicly owned stadium in a metropolitan class city to qualify for state assistance under the Sports Arena Facility Financing Assistance Act.

LB1317 passed on a vote of 49-0 and takes effect immediately.

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