Many of us know the stories of these Nebraskans. Young people are often unable to find high-paying jobs in Nebraska, forcing them to settle for opportunities elsewhere, away from their families and their childhood homes. Seniors on a fixed income or other recipients of retirement income have to make their budgets stretch, and most states offer generous exemptions of their income from taxes, while many others levy no income tax at all. And the dream of starting a new small business and growing it to success is even more difficult for entrepreneurs facing a high tax burden.
Nationally, Nebraska falls below the national average in the creation of new jobs, and Nebraska’s state and local taxes place it at a mediocre 27th on the Tax Foundation’s business tax climate index. A similar analysis published by the American Legislative Exchange Council places Nebraska at 32nd for state economic outlook.
Of course, having one of the highest income tax burdens in our region is bad for the economy as well as the tax base. No matter what the state income tax rate is, you can’t tax income that isn’t earned here. To keep families close to their Nebraska roots, lawmakers must enact policies that make it possible for them to stay, and that attract new workers and businesses, too.
There are numerous options for comprehensive tax reform that can lower Nebraska’s harmful tax burdens in a responsible way. Strong Roots Nebraska exists to provide these workable solutions for tax relief that remove barriers to growth and opportunity, and to empower Nebraskans to change the direction of tax policy in our state.