Nebraska: Short Term Shortfall, Long Term Financial Strength

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Two reports released Friday give differing views of Nebraska’s financial health.

Nebraska state government ended the last fiscal year with $34 million less tax revenue than expected. The state Department of Revenue reported Friday that revenue fell below projections in the fiscal year that ended June 30. The report says the state received $25 million less than expected in June.

Governor Pete Ricketts said in a statement that he is working with state agencies to constrain their spending. He notes that Nebraska’s state revenue forecast has been revised downward five times in the last two years.

Renee Fry, executive director of the OpenSky Policy Institute, says policymakers need to have an “honest conversation” about whether the state is collecting enough revenue to meet its needs.

Nebraska is in good financial shape, overall, according to a study released by the Libertarian – oriented Mercatus Center. It ranks Nebraska as number six in the nation among the fifty states for overall financial fitness.

Nebraska is first in the nation in protection from financial shocks, number six in overall taxes and spending compared to personal income, and third in the amount of debt owed. The Mercatus Center was also announced earlier this week as a consultant in a project to analyze and slim down the number of Nebraska’s state regulations.

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