One of the most critical issues facing Nebraska and the 24th Legislative District is economic development. Nebraska must broaden the tax base and increase the number of taxpayers in order to continue to afford the services its citizens have come to expect from the state, schools, and local governments. The state needs to position itself in terms of its tax and regulatory structure so that existing businesses can grow, new entrepreneurial efforts are encouraged, and out-of-state businesses will benefit by locating in Nebraska.
The Nebraska Advantage Act passed by the legislature in 2006 and expanded in 2008, the significant tax reduction package passed during the 2007 session of the legislature, and a host of other smaller measures passed in this last session will help the economic environment of the state.
The legislature must also give local governments the tools necessary to enhance and expand their local economies. Local option sales tax dollars used for economic development and tax increment financing are critical to local economic development efforts. Local governments are their own best business recruiters. The state needs to give them the tools for economic development and be prepared to help.
The passage of my priority bill during the 2007 session of the legislature (LB 562) was a significant addition to Nebraska's community development statutes. It gives to every size of community in Nebraska an additional tool to enhance their retail and commercial base. Also during the 2007, the legislature passed a significant tax reduction package which, according to outside of the state economic development experts, puts Nebraska in a very favorable position to attract new business and create an environment conducive to the expansion of existing business.