Letter to the editor

Dear Editor:

“Taxpayers Lives Matter” is a group of Nebraska property owners who are sick and tired of 20-30-percent increases in the amount of taxes we are required to pay on our Agland each year. In the following example I’m using a quarter of farmland I own in the middle of DawsonCounty. The taxes I pay (money mailed in) has increased 333-percent over the last 10 years.

On the “Tax Statement” for this quarter of land, the taxing entities are listed and the following is the percent of change for each entity over the last 10 years: County Levy +288-percent, Cozad School +349, ESU 10 +326, Central Community College +423, NRD Central Platte +426, Cozad Fire +364, Cozad Hospital +170, Railroad Transportation Safety (whoever they are??) they were not on the Tax Statement in 2006 but in Dawson County they did rake in $234,836.88 in 2015, and Agri. Society +256.

For the last several years, every time I asked one of my elected officials why the taxes are going up, I was told it was all because of “valuation.” This is my question. What does two neighbors bidding against each other on a piece of farmland three years ago have to do with the Central Platte NRD’s budget they asked for from Dawson County to increase from $484,301.60 in 2006 to $1,202,932.38 in 2015? What does it have to do with the ESO 10’s budget they asked for from DawsonCounty to increase from $218,732.19 in 2006 to $398,821.35 in 2015? The good ole “Nebraska Tax Two Step” tap dance of using “valuation” as the reason for increases is CRAP!!! The real story is each of these taxing entities has been using “valuation” to create for themselves a “windfall profit” and they have all spent it.

The bottom line is very simple; all taxing entities in the state of Nebraska are spending too much money!! They all need to get their spending under control. I can already tell you they are all going to scream like stuck little piggies but I really don’t care. Nobody asked me if a 30-percent increase each year would be a hardship. Nobody cared if I had to lay off an employee, nobody cared if I had to change my lifestyle, nobody cared when I had to cut back on maintenance of equipment and I’m not going to care if cutting tax revenue is a hardship on them.

Solution= Taxpayers Lives Matter!! Taxpayers Lives Matter is demanding all taxing entities in the State of Nebraska lower their budgets by 10-percent for 2016.

If a 30-percent increase each year for 10 years is not a problem for taxpayers, then a 10-percent decrease for one year should not be a problem for tax spenders. To make this happen, we will all need to TURN UP THE HEAT!

It is fairly simple. Every taxpayer needs to get out their own Tax Statement(s) and Google the entities listed, get their contact information and start “contacting” and continue to “contact” regularly. After you are good at “contacting,” make yourself a little (or big) sign and start marching to all budget hearings for your taxing entities this year. All of these budget hearings will be held in the next 45 days. Most of these hearings will be in your local area and they will all be with your own local elected officials. The tax problem in Nebraska can be fixed in the next 60 days by simply TURNING UP THE HEAT. There should not be a parking place within 10 blocks of any budget hearing. Find out when and where and start making plans.

By now we should all know how it works when taxpayers want lower taxes. The first thing the tax spenders will tell you is they will tell you is they will have to cut something important. The only thing they could possibly cut is, say police or fire departments or roads and the like. Simply remind them that we had all of those services 10 years ago. They need to cut the services we did not have 10 years ago. It is called waste!!

If something is not done this year the problem with property taxes is going to get much worse. Have you thought about the amount of Nebraska income tax that farmers and ranchers are going to pay for this year? Can you say “zero?” In fact, most are going to be filing for a refund from the taxes they paid three years ago. Guess what that is going to do to the “state aid” for your local school.

Taxpayers Lives Matter is demanding every taxing entity, from the legislature down to the local cemetery, to lower their budgets by 10-percent for 2016.

Check out our webpage nebraskataxtwostep.com and friend us on Facebook at Taxpayers Lives Matter. All taxpayers who are fed up with the taxing situation in Nebraska are already members of “Taxpayers Lives Matter” and you are more than welcome to use this name anytime you are TURNING UP THE HEAT and getting your taxes lowered. Like some famous person once said, “If not youm who? If not now, when?”

W. Alan Rickertsen

Treasurer, Taxpayers Lives Matter

Cozad

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