LINCOLN – Governor Pete Ricketts is speaking out against having food and water items taxed.
Ricketts, joined by local grocer leaders, held a press conference at the Russ’s Market on South Coddington in Lincoln on Wednesday morning, urging the legislature’s revenue committee to reconsider taxing certain food items, candy, pop, and bottled water.
“What this is is reverse-Robinhood,” Ricketts stated. “It’s taking from working Nebraska families who can least afford to pay for somebody else’s tax relief, and that’s not right.”
Senator Lou Ann Linehan, who is Chair of the Revenue Committee, says the committee isn’t looking to tax items that are necessary for a person’s survival.
“If you need to have it, food for example, we’re not going to take away the [tax] exemption on food because you have to have it,” the Elkhorn Senator explained. “When it comes to pop, and candy and bottled water, that’s nice to have.”
Ricketts stated that instead to taxing select food items, the revenue committee needs to look at controlling spending.
“In the past, whenever we’ve raised taxes…all it’s led to is more government spending. It has not led to tax relief, so what we have to do is focus on controlling our spending. It’s a real sustainable solution to having tax relief.”
Linehan says she agrees with the Governor on controlled spending, and that it’s a matter of choosing between where the tax relief dollars come from in this case.
“We have three taxes in this state. We have property taxes, and if you don’t pay them they take away your house. We have income taxes, and if you don’t pay your income taxes they send you to jail. Then we have sales taxes, which is your choice? You either buy the pop or you don’t buy the pop, and pay the sales tax.”
Once out of committee, the bill will be presented to the legislature.