Concerns Raised about Lowering Ag Land Valuations

LINCOLN (AP) - School groups and counties are expressing concern about a proposal to reduce the taxable value of farm- and ranchland. The Revenue Committee heard testimony on two bills Friday relating to agricultural property valuation.  Sen. Beau McCoy of Omaha has introduced a bill that would reduce those land valuations over a three-year period from 75 percent to 65 percent. Sen. Tom Hansen of North Platte has introduced a bill that would provide the same reductions over two years.  McCoy says it's difficult for producers to keep up with rapidly rising valuations. Renee Fry, executive director of OpenSky Policy Institute, says schools would see a $68.2 million shortfall, and counties would lose $21.9 million if the bill was passed.