State Senator Mark Kolterman of Seward has introduced legislation to rewrite Nebraska’s business incentives.  Nebraska’s current business incentives program is set to expire next year.  The “ImagiNE Nebraska Act” (LB 720), according to Kolterman, would revise and enhance Nebraska’s incentives by encouraging the creation of higher paying jobs and more investment from businesses already in Nebraska, as well as out-of-state companies.

Highlights of the new program :

  • Increase the value of the program to the Nebraska tax payer through better investments, better jobs, more robust reporting and more overall transparency.
  • Accelerate the value of the tax credit by simplifying the process.
  • Increase competitiveness of the program by increasing Net Present Value of tax credits – thereby helping Nebraska to win more projects and opportunities for our state.
  • Build stronger relationships with businesses in order to encourage greater levels of current and future investment.
  • Better understand the needs of business and the evolution of business thinking in real time via the Department of Economic Development (DED) application process and stronger relationships.

Kolterman said Nebraska is at a critical point in history and that the challenges are mounting.

“We have a workforce crisis,” the senator said.  “Our taxes are too high – both local and state taxes.  ‘Brain drain’ has returned.  We are failing to retain enough of our best and brightest.

Kolterman said the bill seeks to “make sure our children and grandchildren have ample opportunities to live and work here,” while also “ensuring a viable future for smaller communities.”

Currently, there are more than 2,000 business incentive programs offered by state governments and U.S. territories.

“Nebraska cannot afford to take a timeout on incentives or lose ground in the effort to attract more good jobs,” Kolterman said.  “Just as the University of Nebraska’s football team needs four- and five-star recruits while developing its current talent, our state must continue to attract top employers while encouraging the growth of existing businesses.”

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