Nebraska farmer reacts to Heineman tax plan

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By Tim McNicholas


Updated: Wed, 15 Jan 2014 06:10:07 CST

Doug Saathoff has plenty to worry about before he gets his taxes.

Equipment costs, feed costs...

Life on the farm isn't cheap.

But when he sees his property taxes...

That's when things really get tough.

"Kinda tough to take. It's a lot of dollars we spend. We spend a lot already on inputs," Saathoff said. 

When Saathoff's ag land value goes up, so do his property taxes.

So when Governor Heineman said he wants to bring ag land values down 10 percent...

Saathoff was all ears.

"Record high property taxes are hurting our farmers and ranchers because they've experienced a dramatic growth in ag land value," Heineman said Tuesday. 

It's part of a tax–relief plan the Governor discussed Tuesday night.

He wants to use 220 million dollars of the state's cash reserve to reduce income and property taxes.

Unfortunately for the governor...

Not everyone in the capitol building thinks like Saathoff.

Senator Heath Mello says the plan risks the state's fiscal heatlh.

Jeremy Nordquist thinks Heineman's just trying to cut taxes for the wealthy.

Saathoff admits he doesn't have much of a rebuttal for the resistance...

But he needs change.

The Adams County farmer says the tax value of his land doubled and then some between 2008 and 2012.

"Farmers in Nebraska pay more than their fair share of taxes right now. We support the school districts way more than anybody," Saathoff said. 

Saathoff's facing some of the highest property taxes Nebraska has ever seen.

He agrees with the Governor that change needs to happen quickly.

But given the resistance Heineman faced on Tuesday...

He may have a long road ahead of him.