Throughout our nation, citizens are focused on one issue -- the economy. One of the best ways to help hard-working, middle class citizens and spur economic development is through tax relief. This year, Nebraska is not the only state focused on tax relief. Kansas, Oklahoma, Idaho, Ohio, Maine, and New Jersey are all debating income-tax cuts this year.
We are competing with other states and the world for jobs. Our citizens recognize that they deserve to keep more of the money they make. This is why the most talked about issue during this year's Legislative session is tax relief.
In my State of the State message, I made it crystal clear that tax relief for hard-working, middle class Nebraska taxpayers must be our highest priority, but special interest groups are out in force. Lobbyists want their special projects rather than tax relief for the taxpayers.
One of those groups is the Nebraska Hospital Association who wants a special sales tax break. The Hospital Association wants a tax break for themselves, but doesn't support tax relief for the hard-working, middle class Nebraskans that are their workers and patients.
For the past few months, I have been working with Senator Abbie Cornett to develop a major tax relief initiative for Nebraska's hard-working, middle class families. Our proposal has three parts.
First, our plan lowers tax rates and widens tax brackets to provide hard-working, middle class Nebraskans income tax relief. Nebraska's current income tax system in unfair to middle class Nebraskans because if your adjusted gross income is more than $54,000, you are taxed at the same marginal rate as Warren Buffett. Our tax plan will allow Nebraska's hard-working taxpayers to keep more of their income.
Second, our plan reduces the corporate income tax rate to the same rate as the top individual tax rate to help small businesses grow.
Third, our plan eliminates the inheritance tax. You've probably seen the recent headline in Forbes -- Nebraska is named as a state "Where Not to Die in 2012." Even high tax states like Massachusetts, New York and California don't have an inheritance tax. Nebraska is one of only eight states that have an inheritance tax and we need to change that. This is about good tax policy and completing the elimination of the death tax.
Before the Legislature and state spends millions of dollars on special interest projects, Nebraskans deserve tax relief first and foremost. Nebraskans deserve a pay raise from their state government, and we can do that by lowering taxes. I'm going to fight for Nebraska's hard-working taxpayers because they need our help. This bold tax relief plan is focused on Nebraska's hard-working, middle class taxpayers.
Our highest priority should be tax relief for Nebraska's hard-working, middle class taxpayers. Nebraska families have had to tighten their belts and learn to do more with less. So should government.