Applications are currently being accepted for the State Chamber's Leadership Nebraska program, which prepares individuals to play a larger role in their community and state.
Applications must be received no later than Friday, April 12.
Leadership Nebraska is beginning its twelfth year of developing informed leaders who seek a breadth of knowledge about Nebraska issues. The year-long program consists of six sessions, each of which lasts two days. The sessions cover a wide scope of topics, including economic development, health care, education, agriculture, and state government.
The application can be found at www.leadershipnebraska.com or by calling Roberta Pinkerton at 402-474-4422.
Several Nebraska businesses have been affected by the recent devastating flooding our state has experienced. Swollen rivers and quickly rising water have washed out roads and bridges, and triggered evacuations. Many homes and businesses have been inundated by water that flowed from nearby rivers.
If your business has been directly affected -- and you need guidance on what to do next -- help is available.
Please reach out to the U.S. Chamber Foundation's Disaster Help Desk at 1-888-My-Biz-Help (888-692-4943). Or visit https://www.uschamberfoundation.org/disaster-response-and-community-resilience/disaster-help-desk.
Earlier this week, on March 6, the Nebraska Legislature's Revenue Committee held its hearing on LB720, which would bring the first major overhaul of Nebraska’s business incentives in 14 years.
The ImagiNE Nebraska Act would replace the Nebraska Advantage Act of 2005 – the state’s primary economic development tool that has resulted in 850 business expansions, $13 billion in capital invested or committed, and roughly 100,000 new jobs statewide.
The Nebraska Advantage Act is set to expire at the end of next year, making LB720’s passage critical this session.
Testifying in support of LB720 on behalf of the State Chamber was Chad Denton, president of CFO Services in Omaha. Chad highlighted LB720’s proposed process improvements, saying the bill would increase the value of incentives to businesses by making simplifications, ensuring that businesses receive earned incentives sooner, and eliminating unnecessary audits.
Other highlights from the hearing included:
During the hearing, much of the focus from opponents was related to the bill’s cost, estimated to be around $29 million in Fiscal 2020-21, but projected to grow to more than $150 million as more projects ramp up under the program. LB720's main sponsor, Seward Senator Mark Kolterman, noted that over the years, costs related to Nebraska’s business incentive programs (LB775 and the Nebraska Advantage Act) have, on average, totaled an amount equal to roughly only 3% of the state’s annual budget. Other supporters told senators that allowing businesses keep more of the money they earn in exchange for new jobs and investment should not be viewed as costs, since such economic activity would not likely have occurred but for incentives.
In his concluding remarks, Senator Kolterman told his fellow Revenue Committee members that he has repeatedly supported efforts to reduce Nebraska’s property tax burden. “But we cannot grow our state by just reducing the property tax burden,” he said, adding that doing away with incentives would be like hanging up a “closed for business” sign.
Currently, 22 senators are cosponsoring the ImagiNE Nebraska Act.