In response to Gary Barnard's letter on March 13, I have a few points Gary failed to bring up.
First off, this is far from a "poorly disguised tax shift." It is very up front and transparent. Who wouldn't want a larger base to help pay an assessed tax? Especially if a lot of non-residents could help achieve a quicker payoff of said tax.
Second: Even though Ag does take advantage of some tax breaks, the owners of agland will be buying just as much or more than any other resident in the city of goods that will be assessed the tax that LB 472 proposes.
Third: When valuations of homes in Beatrice or the surrounding area increase 300% to 600% in the last 15 years like some agland did, then you can talk. Home values in Beatrice have been totally stagnant in that time period.
How did raises in wages and health care costs, inflation of goods and services, plus hiring more and more public sector employees get paid for during that time if the residential values never increased?
In reference to your "agland only pays 72% (which is actually 75%) of its valuation." I would gladly pay 100% of your zero valuation increase if you would agree to pay 75% of my 300-600% increases. Thank you.
Larry Gronewold, Beatrice
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