Upcoming legislative session will feature wide variety of rural topics

The 106th Nebraska Legislature is set to start Jan. 9, and a number of topics and issues affecting rural Nebraska, like agriculture, property taxes, educational funding and voter-approved Medicaid, will take the stage.
    The state’s 49 senators—11 newly elected and two more to be appointed to vacancies—will convene to discuss, debate and vote on these and other issues.
    For many lawmakers, property taxes are a major issue.
    In Nebraska, counties and municipalities, not the state, levy property taxes, which help fund public schools, police, fire departments and other local government services. The biggest chunk of property tax payments goes to fund local schools.
    The average property tax rate in Nebraska is 1.88 percent, according to the Nebraska Department of Revenue. That means the owner of a $100,000 home would pay $1,880 per year in property taxes. Property taxes in the state range from 0.84 percent to 2.12-percent.
    Senator-elect Dave Murman, 65, is a new senator from Glenville, representing the 38th District. Murman said property taxes were his top campaign issue. “We need to substantially reduce property taxes. They are way out of line compared to neighboring states,” he said.
    Murman comes from a farming community and a rural background. He graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and has spent most of his life on the family farm. He said farmers in his area and throughout the state are hurt because of the property taxes.

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