The Legislature's Tax Modernization Committee has heard from several residents in western Nebraska, as two public hearings this week brought many out to discuss the state's tax situation.
Hearings were held Monday in Scottsbluff and Tuesday in North Platte, and sentiments from local landowners were much the same: property taxes are too high, as are valuation increases.
A Custer County rancher shared at Tuesday's hearing that the valuation on his land rose by more than $310,000 in 2012. The rancher, Jim Jones, says real estate taxes should be based on productivity, since his land is worth no more to him now than before the increase.
The committee will continue to hold public hearings around the state to hear more input on Nebraska's tax system, with special focus put on property, income and sales taxes.
The schedule for the remainder of the public meetings follows:
Thursday, September 26 -- Lifelong Learning Center, Northeast Nebraska Community College in Norfolk, from 1:30-4:30 p.m.
Thursday, October 17 -- Metro Community College, South Omaha Campus, from 1:30-4:30 p.m.
Friday, October 18 -- State Capitol Building, Room 1113, Lincoln, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The committee will report its findings from these hearings back to the Legislature.