State lawmakers ask for tax-reform suggestions

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska lawmakers have stressed the importance of public input as they look to make changes to the state tax system, but they're also trying to avoid a free-for-all with conflicting special interests. The Legislature's Tax Modernization Committee has drafted several proposals to change Nebraska's income, property, and sales and use taxes. The committee chairman, Sen. Galen Hadley of Kearney, says the suggestions are intended to keep the public input as focused as possible.  Lawmakers have agreed not to eliminate sales-tax exemptions on food and health care services, unless the public voices strong support. Hadley says taxing food and health care is a political "lightning rod" that would likely receive little support in the Legislature.  The committee will hold hearings over the next two months in Scottsbluff, North Platte, Norfolk, Omaha and Lincoln.