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Tuesday 10 November 2020, 01:30pm
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Contact llinehan@leg.ne.gov

Sen. Rob Clements Column – Inheritance Taxes
November 2, 2020

Between legislative sessions, my office has been working on a study that I introduced last session, LR 415, to reexamine Nebraska’s inheritance tax (death tax) system. I would like to take this opportunity to discuss this with you.

On Tuesday, November 10, the Legislature’s Revenue Committee will have a public hearing on interim study LR 415, to examine Nebraska’s inheritance tax (death tax) as we look to improve the tax structure in the state. It will be held at the Capitol, in Room 1525, at 1:30 p.m. November 10. The public is welcome to testify in person or may testify by submitting written testimony to the Revenue Committee prior to the hearing via letter or email. Regarding emailed testimony, please send to llinehan@leg.ne.gov, with LR 415 in the subject line, state your name in the body, and ask that your “testimony be added to the permanent record”.

The purpose of the study is to collect information from the counties that collect inheritance taxes and from the public to better understand whether to change it, replace it, or repeal it. Currently, only five other states have some form of inheritance tax, which puts Nebraska as an outlier among our peers. Our state ranks among the highest when comparing the rates of the other states. Nebraska taxes heirs at one percent for children, 13 percent for relatives, and 18 percent for all others, which is the highest in the country.

I believe that we can do better as a state in this area. We need to continue to give people more reasons to stay in our state and not leave. This is why I am planning to bring a bill next session to move us forward, taking the information and feedback from this study to either change, replace, or repeal the inheritance tax.

On another note, the Nebraska Economic Forecasting Advisory Board met October 29th and raised the revenue forecast by $285 million for the current fiscal year FY2020-21, $118 million for FY2021-22, and $307 million for FY2022-23. This is good news for Nebraskans who are still struggling to recover from the economic downturn due to the pandemic. Improving revenues means our economy is recovering and people are getting back to work.

Feel free to contact me or my staff for assistance, information, or questions on issues.
You may reach me at: Senator Robert Clements, State Capitol Rm 1120, Lincoln, NE 68509, Phone 402­471­2613, Email: rclements@leg.ne.gov.