There’s a new round in the fight over lower property taxes and it ups the ante surrounding the so-called 35 per cent solution: A petition drive to in effect cut property taxes by that’s right 35 per cent.

Republican Governor Pete Ricketts doesn’t like it but now four Republican state senators, Tom Brewer, Steve Erdman, Steve Halloran and Dave Murman are urging the state’s top farm groups to “step-up, get involved and…enthusiastically endorse the ballot initiative.”

Linehan: I understand why people think that’s a good idea, it scares me.
That’s another Republican state senator Lou Ann Linehan.

In a recent interview with News Channel Nebraska Linehan, the head of the powerful Revenue Committee, the ‘who gets taxed how much committee,’ went after the 35 per cent solution— whole hog.

Linehan: It’s $1.4 billion and it’s a third of our budget. We have to take care of people who can’t take care of themselves, which would be Medicaid. So are we going to have kids who can’t go to the dentist; they’re not going to be able to get eye glasses. And then what do we do with seniors who’ve been in a nursing home ten years and are out of money. You going to send them home to live with their daughters, you going to put them in a warehouse?  We’re going to let 2,000 taxing agencies in the State of Nebraska, whether it’s your NRD or schools raise taxes and no matter what they do the state is going to pick up a third of it. That’s just a bad idea.

But don’t tell that to Brewer, Erdman, Halloran and Murman, who are also telling those key farm groups to “promote” the 35 per cent solution and don’t let lawmakers “kick the can” down the road again.

If the petition drive makes it to the ballot, it would go to the voters next November.