Heineman's plan to cut taxes a worthy goal

Friday, January 13, 2012

The governor has an uphill battle in achieving his goal of $326 million in tax cuts over the next three years, especially in light of the need to deal with the mess left with the attempt to privatize Nebraska's child welfare system.

Still, we wish him luck.

Gov. Dave Heineman and Lt. Gov. Rick Sheehy flew around the state Thursday delivering the message following Heineman's State of the State address.

Heineman claimed success in improving Nebraska's tax climate, citing the Tax Foundation's state ranking of 29th, up from 45th in 2006, but wants to improve that ranking.

By expanding tax brackets and lowering rates, the governor's plan would mean the state would collect $273.7 million less from individuals and $52.9 million from businesses.

The governor took credit for $29 million in cuts to the current state budget, and said the Nebraska Advantage business incentive package has caused about 270 businesses to commit to invest more than $5.9 billion and create more than 19,500 jobs in the state.

Low unemployment and a strong farm economy have Nebraska at a true advantage, but fixing the child welfare system is likely to be expensive, and health care reform is another major question. Heineman noted that the state is ready to establish a health insurance exchange, but won't actually spend the money to implement it until the U.S. Supreme Court decides whether Obamacare's mandatory insurance requirement is constitutional.

And, it would be good if Nebraska dropped off Forbes Magazine's list of of states "where not to die" because of our inheritance tax.

It's perplexing when opponents of tax cuts talk about their "cost." Cost to whom?

Certainly not the taxpayers who are footing the bill.

Yes, some services are best performed by government, but budgets must continually be put to the test to determine just how efficiently those services can be delivered.

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