Nebraska Farm Bureau has registered its opposition to a bill seeking to tax the use of irrigation water. Introduced by Sen. Paul Schumacher of Columbus, LB 1022 would create a one-cent tax on every 10 gallons of water pumped from an irrigation well capable of producing at least 5,000 gallons of water per day. The bill would direct the new tax monies to fund schools, according to Nebraska Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson.
“The ability of Nebraska farmers to use irrigation water is a major driver for Nebraska’s economy. A study conducted in 2012 showed that irrigation contributed $11 billion to Nebraska’s economy and was responsible for 31,221 Nebraska jobs, more than one-third of which are jobs outside of farming. LB 1022 would virtually tax the use of irrigation water out of existence in our state, hurting farmers and Nebraskans. It’s not good tax policy,” said Nelson.
Nebraska Farm Bureau shared its opposition during the Legislature’s Revenue Committee hearing on the bill, Wednesday, Feb. 21 as part of a joint opposition testimony offered on behalf of the Nebraska Farm Bureau, Nebraska Cattlemen, Nebraska Corn Growers Association, Nebraska Pork Producers Association, and the Nebraska State Dairy Association, as well as the “We Support Agriculture” coalition.
“While our group’s collective testimony is important, I want to thank those individual Farm Bureau members who took the time to come to Lincoln and share their story with the Committee and members of our Governmental Relations team of how LB 1022 would damage their family operations,” said Nelson.