Extensions proposed for Nebraska Advantage Act

A bill that would extend sunset dates for the Nebraska Advantage Act was heard by the Revenue Committee Feb. 26.

LB1067, introduced by Kearney Sen. Galen Hadley, would extend the current application deadline for Tier 1 and Tier 3 projects under the Nebraska Advantage Act from Dec. 31, 2015 to Dec. 31, 2017. The deadline for Tier 6 projects under the Act would be extended from Jan. 1, 2016 to Jan. 1, 2018.

Hadley said extending the deadlines is vital to encouraging new businesses to locate in the state.

“These are important [changes] because some of them are at the end of this year,” he said. “If we don’t act now to extend those sunsets, we will lose one of our very important economic development tools.”

The bill also would change the year in which a business may first claim a tax credit under the Nebraska Advantage Research and Development Act from tax years beginning Dec. 31, 2015 to tax years beginning Dec. 31, 2017.

The state Department of Revenue’s deadline to approve applications under the Nebraska Advantage Microenterprise Tax Credit Act would be extended from Dec. 31, 2015 to Dec. 31, 2017.

State Department of Economic Development Director Catherine Lang testified in support of the bill. She said the Nebraska Advantage Act has resulted in the creation of over 7,000 jobs since its inception.

“The Department of Economic Development believes that growing investment and creating jobs is intrinsically important to the success of the state,” she said. “It’s important that we continue the efforts to modernize these incentive programs.”

Joseph Young, director of public policy for the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, also supported the bill, saying that the state receives $3.02 for every $1 spent under the act.

“Besides the cost of doing business, predictability and certainty are paramount when we’re talking about what business owners are going to do with long-term planning,” he said. “[This bill] tells people Nebraska is open for business, not just this year but for the foreseeable future.”

No one testified in opposition to the bill and the committee took no immediate action on it.

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