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Ricketts: Virus will force belt-tightening in Nebraska budget

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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts is warning that the coronavirus pandemic will likely lead to state budget cuts and force lawmakers to water down two of his biggest priorities, including a property tax bill for farmers and homeowners and a new business incentive package.

His comments came after lawmakers announced plans to resume their regular session on July 20.

It's not clear whether the property tax or business incentive measures had enough support to pass even before the pandemic.

But the economic damage caused by business closures and social distancing has already led to a sharp downturn in state revenue, making it much harder to approve either proposal.

In his daily news briefing, the governor told reporters, in the near-term, because of the pandemic, there might not be enough money to do what the state thought it could do three months ago.

"I think certainly with the loss of revenue, likely with regards to the pandemic, we're going to have to adjust expectations for what that property tax relief will look like. However, this is still one of the most important issues we have here in the state. And it certainly was the most important before the pandemic hit, and it's still a big issue, especially for our farmers and ranchers, especially now if you look at commodity prices down, because of the pandemic. Land prices haven't been adjusted for that," said Gov. Ricketts.

Ricketts said there are homeowners and commercial owners to consider too, and that's why the property tax relief issue is an important one.


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LINCOLN, Neb. (KTIV) -- Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts held his daily news conference Monday at 2 p.m. to update the public on the state's response to the COVID-19 coronavirus.

KTIV App Users: To watch the news conference on KTIV.com, click here.

Click here to watch the news conference on KTIV'S Facebook page.

Associated Press

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