A-M Students attend Governor's talk

Staff Writer

Thirteen students from Anselmo-Merna High School were among the crowd of more than 75 who attended Governor Ricketts' talk in Broken Bow Tuesday.

The governor has said everywhere he goes in Nebraska people ask him about property tax relief. That continued to be true Tuesday when the Governor was in Broken Bow for about an hour. Over seventy people, including 13 students from Anselmo-Merna High School, came to the Municipal Building in Broken Bow to listen and to ask questions.

Ricketts talked about his proposal to change ag land valuation to an income potential system. The governor said if it were in place this year, it would take 2.2 billion off farm land value. “It’s a big deal,” he said.

He also recognized that income is down on farm and ranches. In 2012-2013, agriculture income in Nebraska was 7.5 billion. In 2015 it dropped to 4.5 billion. Numbers aren’t in yet for 2016 however, the Governor estimates it will be around 4 billion.

"Agriculture is the heart and soul of what we do,” he said. “When we see farm income down, it ripples through the state.”

The governor also spoke about his proposal to reduce income tax on the top tier, the budget, Dept. of Corrections, funding eduction, reducing occupational licensing and certification regulations and the state's role in a revamped health care system. “The states will do a better job than ‘one size fits all.’” Ricketts said. “We shouldn’t be penalized as a state for being frugal. Give us more freedom. Give us flexibility but hold us accountable. Set goals and set targets.”