The rich and powerful have plenty of people doing their bidding in Lincoln and Washington. Chuck will fight for the ordinary small town and rural families who work hard every day – who embrace their responsibilities to their community – but who too often get the short end of the stick.
WHAT I STAND FOR
Small Town and Rural Revitalization
Chuck will be the leading voice in our Legislature – and an effective voice – to create good jobs and self-employment opportunities by supporting small businesses, beginning farmers and value-added agriculture, including livestock and biofuels.
When it comes to investing in economic development – small towns and rural communities get the crumbs off the table. He’ll fight to change that by building coalitions with both Republicans and Democrats; city Senator and rural Senators.
Our state government must be a leader in supporting small enterprise development. Chuck helped write the Nebraska Advantage Microenterprise Investment Tax Credit – the nation’s only state tax credit designed to meet the unique needs of small businesses with just a few employees. He also helped author a tax credit law that encourages landowners to rent land to beginning farmers, which has since been copied by other states. And he helped author and push through the Nebraska Value Added Agriculture Program.
Chuck will fight for our small and mid-size schools to get a fair share of state aid to education. They don’t now, because the state aid formula is biased against them. Eight of the nine schools in Burt, Cuming and Washington Counties receive no state equalization aid. Chuck will fight for full state funding of special education and other new funding streams that benefit our schools, not just big schools in cities.
He will support new partnerships with our schools to offer technical education that opens good jobs to high school graduates. He will also champion state support for our school’s efforts to provide preschool. And he will seek tax credits to make high-quality daycare affordable to working families.
Every child deserves the opportunity to start school and graduate from school prepared to succeed. And our schools must receive a fair share of state education funding to provide that opportunity to our kids.
Property Tax Relief
Chuck will fight for property relief because it is Nebraska's most burdensome tax for the middle class, especially for farmers. It does not work to pay as much as $100 per acre property taxes when corn is selling for $3.00. It must be our top priority for tax relief.
Taxes on farmland have doubled over the last decade, driven primarily by the loss of state equalization aid for small-town schools. Eight of nine schools in Burt, Cuming and Washington Counties today receive no equalization aid. The loss of state equalization aid has strained instructional funding, in addition to driving up property taxes.
Chuck will pursue three approaches to secure property tax relief:
1) Reduce reliance on property taxes for funding schools and correct the bias in state education funding against schools in small town and rural Nebraska,
2) Stop unfunded state mandates on schools and local governments and
3) Provide state incentive funding for local governments and schools to improve efficiency by sharing personnel and equipment.
Chuck is also open to state income tax credits to offset property taxes.
The best test of whether a candidate is serious about property tax relief is his/her stand on cutting income taxes on the rich – because the state cannot and will not do anything significant for both. Chuck opposes income tax cuts for the rich because there’s only so much in the bank for tax relief and his priority is reducing family farm and middle-class property taxes.