NPS Joins New Coalition

February 2017

As a member of the Greater Nebraska Schools Association, the Norfolk Public Schools is proud to be a part of an exciting new coalition that consists of agriculture and educational organizations. This new coalition, Nebraskans United for Property Tax Reform and Education, shared its founding principles and membership today at the State Capitol. The coalition represents 98% of the school districts in Nebraska and over 60,000 landowners...all determined to protect two of Nebraska's greatest assets...public education and agriculture.

I am very excited to see these two communities (agriculture and education) unite. Our state's economy and future are dependent upon strong agriculture and strong public schools. It is time that we worked together to ensure both remain strong and vibrant, by developing a tax system that is fair and equitable to all Nebraskans and provides adequate funding for our public school system, which is one of the best in the nation."

Founding Coalition Members include:
Nebraska Farm Bureau
Nebraska Fair
Nebraska Council of School Administrators
Nebraska Corn Growers Association
Nebraska State Education Association
Reform for Nebraska's Future
Nebraska Rural Community Schools Association
Nebraska Farmers Union
Women Involved in Farm Economics
Nebraska Soybean Association
Gage County Property Tax Group
Nebraska Pork Producers
Nebraska Wheat Growers
Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska
Schools Taking Action for Nebraska Children's Education
Greater Nebraska Schools Association

Founding Principles:

Principle #1: Adequate and sustainable funding of high quality K-12 education is imperative for the future of Nebraska.

  • A well-educated workforce is essential for economic development and a high quality of life.1

  • Education reduces poverty, boosts economic growth and increases income. In sum, education is one of the most important investments a state can make in its people and its future.2

  • Low levels of state funding for education is at the heart of Nebraska's property tax issues, not school spending.3

Principle #2: Tax reform which reduces the over-reliance on local property taxes is necessary to ensure our tax system is fair to all Nebraska taxpayers.

  • Nebraska must reduce property taxes to ensure a fair and balanced tax system.

    1. Nebraska ranks 49th in the country in the percentage of K-12 funding that comes from the state.

    2. Nebraskans pays the 7th highest effective property tax rate in the nation.5

  • To fund the state budget, we need a tax system that is fair and balanced for all Nebraska taxpayers. Nebraska's taxpayers need a significant reduction in property taxes.

    1. Nebraska K-12 schools receive 33% of their funding from state sources while the national average is 47%.

    2. Nebraska K-12 schools receive 49% of their funding from local property taxes while the national average is 29%.6


1 Educational Attainment as an Economic Driver for States, Regions and Communities; Larry Good and Jeannine La Prad - Corporation for a Skilled Workforce, Michigan State University, 2013.

2 The economic case for education, Ludger Woessmann, University of Munich, Journal of Education Economics, 2016.

3 Property Tax Truth, NSEA Voice Magazine, February, 2017. Property Taxes, State Aid and School Spending, NSEA Research, January, 2017; Data Source: Nebraska Department of Education Annual Finance Reports of School Districts, 1995-96 to 2015-16.

4 U.S. Census Bureau, Public Education Finance Report, June, 2016.

5 How High Are Property Taxes in Your State? Tax Foundation, July, 2016; Data Source - 2014 American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau data.

6 U.S. Census Bureau, Public Education Finance, 2016 – Based on 2014 Survey Data.