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The Public Pulse: Burdens from property tax; First lady is right; Yes to tax decoupling

The Public Pulse: Burdens from property tax; First lady is right; Yes to tax decoupling

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Burdens from property tax

Douglas County valuation protests are the highest since 2007 and the typical hike in valuation equated to 13% according to a World-Herald analysis (July 21). I’d like to see some additional World-Herald analysis to determine what the 13% equates to in real tax dollars the county will receive and how that revenue will be spent, especially in Omaha, where I reside.

Also, In the last paragraph of the article, County Assessor Diane Battiato wants taxpayers to “remember local government subdivisions drive the tax rate.” I had a Facebook discussion with Mayor Stothert two years ago and she explained to me that Omaha didn’t raise my taxes; they went up because my valuation went up. Guess what? Nobody in government is responsible for real estate taxes going up!

In this day and technological age there has to be a programmer that could be hired and assigned to write code that would let the system increase the value of your house but keep your taxes the same. Then the county assessor and mayors wouldn’t have to play word games explaining how increased taxes are not their fault. You’re welcome, Ms. County Assessor and Mr./Ms. Mayors!

Scott Darden, Omaha

First lady is right about Chambers

I want to applaud Susanne Shore, first lady of Nebraska, for calling Sen. Ernie Chambers to task for his verbal outburst against Sen. Julie Slama and women in general. It is too bad none of our elected officials have the courage to do likewise.

Ron Cronkhite, Omaha

He’s happy not to know

When our unprecedented un-president implies that fewer COVID test sites would reduce the increasing number of infections, he’s kinda correct. After all, if you close your eyes, you won’t see anything, right?

Pam and Peter Parkert, Omaha

Tax ‘decoupling’ will help Nebraska

AARP believes in investing in our residents by pursuing tax policies that are equitable and easy to administer; foster economic growth; ask all Nebraskans, including the business community, to pay their fair share; and produce essential revenue to support important services such as public safety, dependable infrastructure and affordable health care that Nebraska’s families, veterans and businesses rely on.

AM 3093 to Legislative Bill 1074 introduced by State Sen. Tom Briese, will enable Nebraska to decouple from many of the tax changes in the federal CARES Act and advances these principles. This action will help our state recover and grow after the challenges imposed by the pandemic. This legislation will ensure that approximately $250 million in tax revenue over the next three years remains in our state and can be used to provide assistance to all Nebraskans, especially those who have been hard hit by the pandemic, like our state’s older population.

Importantly, AM 3093 would continue to allow Nebraskans to waive both required minimum distributions from their retirement accounts and the 10% penalty for early retirement account distributions, as permitted under the CARES Act. Allowing Nebraskans to continue to take advantage of these tax changes, while decoupling from other more burdensome changes, remains essential to helping our workers, retirees and their families preserve their health and financial security during this unprecedented time of challenge.

We encourage senators to support AM 3093 to LB 1074.

Dave Holmquist, Omaha

state president, AARP NE

Protect this right

I am submitting this letter signed by the Douglas County Democratic Party Women’s Caucus (DCDPWC). Our caucus believes health care is a human right. We fully support bodily autonomy and a person’s right to choose when and if they become pregnant. We also support unfettered access to safe and legal abortion.

The advancement of Legislative Bill 814 out of committee suggests the people of Nebraska cannot be trusted to make the right decision for their own bodies and health, as well as undermines the ability of doctors to offer the best and safest options for their patients. When Nebraska is suffering under a real global health crisis and our citizens desperately need leadership, health protections and financial support, senators are instead choosing to focus on this bill, which is not backed by science, not supported by the medical community and not the crisis they pretend it is. Abortion is health care service that should not be determined by a politician.

Our caucus urges citizens to immediately contact their state senators to urge them to oppose LB 814. Find your senator at: nebraskalegislators.gov.

Marti Carrington, Omaha

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