College savings proposal, military housing tax exemption approved

A bill that exempts military housing units from property taxation and allows an income tax deduction against employer contributions to state college savings accounts received final approval in the Legislature May 30.

Sen. Andrew La Grone
Sen. Andrew La Grone

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 includes provisions of two other bills: LB444, sponsored by Omaha Sen. Mike McDonnell, and LB545, introduced by Sen. Justin Wayne, also of Omaha.

McDonnell’s proposal exempts military dwelling complexes from property taxation but requires 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.

Under Wayne’s measure, an individual’s federal adjusted gross income is reduced by the amount contributed to the individual’s NEST account by his or her employer, not to exceed $5,000 per married filing separate return or $10,000 for any other return.

It also prohibits a government program administered by any state agency that provides benefits or aid to individuals based on financial need from taking employer contributions into account when determining a person’s income.

LB470 passed on a vote of 43-2 and takes effect immediately.

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