Hughes opposed to newly introduced ag tax bills

Last Thursday was the final day to introduce bills for this legislative session.
    There were still plenty of bills being brought to the legislature up until the last day. We ended up with an additional 469 new bills being introduced, making the total 1,136 for the 105th legislative session.
    Some new bills that were introduced could have a negative impact on southwestern Nebraska.
    I have already received some calls and emails regarding a couple of these new bills. LB 1021 and LB 1022, are both bills that I will oppose. Here’s a short explanation of each bill and my opinion on them.
    LB 1021 would remove the tax exemption on agricultural machinery and chemicals, as well as, water for irrigation and manufacturing and other agricultural resources.
    This bill would take away multiple tax exemptions used by farmers each year. One of the main exemptions is water for irrigation and manufacturing. Taking away this exemption would have a direct negative impact on farmers in southwestern Nebraska.
    LB 1022 would add a tax to water used for irrigation. Any well used for irrigation that is capable of producing at least 5,000 gallons of water per day, would be taxed at one cent for every 10 gallons of water pumped. Irrigated land will be valued the same as dry land under this bill.
    LB 1022 would also create a school aid fund. This fund would consist of irrigation tax revenue credited to the fund and would be administered by the state board of education.
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