Nebraska Can’t Afford LB970’s Tax Cuts

Yesterday, Nebraska Appleseed’s Executive Director Becky Gould testified at the Nebraska Legislature’s Revenue Committee in opposition to LB970.  The bill would cut state income taxes and corporate taxes in Nebraska.  The bill would significantly decrease revenue to the state’s general fund and hinder the state’s ability to invest in the future – a strong child welfare system serving vulnerable children and families’ needs, investing our limited resources for education and skills training for adults re-entering the workforce to put Nebraskans back to work, and providing essential access to quality health care for low-income children and families.

[DDET Appleseed Testimony] Senator Abbie Cornett
Chair, Revenue Committee
State Capitol, Room 1116
Lincoln, NE 68509

Re: Opposition to LB 970

Dear Senator Cornett and Members of the Revenue Committee,

My name is Becky Gould and I am the Executive Director at Nebraska Appleseed. Nebraska Appleseed is a non-partisan, non-profit, public interest law firm that works for equal justice and full opportunity for all Nebraskans.  We are here to testify in opposition to LB 970.

The primary reason for our opposition to LB 970 is that our state simply cannot afford these tax cuts.

Our concern is that LB 970 will be paid for on the backs of some of our most vulnerable family members, friends and neighbors and by ignoring pressing problems that can only be addressed by making key investments in our state’s future.

Nebraska’s low and middle-income families have been told repeatedly over the last several years that they must make sacrifices to balance the state budget.  And these hard working Nebraskans have borne more than their fair share of that sacrifice. Critical work support programs such as child care and Medicaid have repeatedly been cut while child poverty continues to grow.  Support to K-12 education has been reduced.  Much needed investments in adult education and training programs have been foregone while we have a growing skills gap among adult workers.  And the more than 6,000 children in foster care have been left in a state of chaos and uncertainty as a result of our failing child welfare system.

LB 970 will not address any of these priority issues that if left unaddressed will erode the prosperity and successes we are so proud of in this moment.

Most Nebraskans – those making less than $88,000 a year – would see at most $12 a month in savings as a result of LB 970.  What we all lose in return is the state’s ability to pay for some of the most basic responsibilities of government on which all Nebraskans rely, such as education and a quality child welfare system.

Our state’s budget should reflect our state’s priorities.  Nebraska has responsibilities it must fulfill now and passing LB 970 would leave our state without the ability to meet those responsibilities.  Now is the time to address the significant problems facing the child welfare system, to reinvest in the programs and government functions that have borne the brunt of past cuts, and make smart investments in job training and education to build for our future.

Nebraska’s children are not a special interest group.  Nebraska’s working families are not a special interest group.  They are our children, our siblings, our parents, our nieces and nephews, our neighbors, friends, and grandparents.  They are Nebraska and they are counting on the Legislature to use the limited resources we have in this moment in a way that will bring the biggest benefits to our state.  LB 970 is not the answer and we respectfully request that the Committee not advance LB 970.

Sincerely,

NEBRASKA APPLESEED

Rebecca L. Gould
Executive Director[/DDET]

Contact the State Senators on the Revenue Committee and urge them to oppose the corporate and income tax cuts in LB970:

Resources:  Voices for Children’s infographic “Proposed tax cut not worth a pound of potatoes
News coverage from yesterday’s hearing on LB970:
Omaha World-Herald: Plan to drop inheritance tax ripped

Lincoln Journal Star: Debate opens on governor’s tax cut plan

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