Nebraska property tax activists suspend ballot campaign

April 14, 2020 GMT

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Activists who pushed for a statewide ballot measure to lower property taxes in Nebraska have suspended their campaign due to the coronavirus, organizers said Monday.

The group TRUE Nebraskans posted the announcement on its website. Organizers said the state’s social-distancing restrictions have made it too difficult to collect enough signatures by the July 2 submission deadline.

The group pulled its circulators off the streets on March 19. If they had gathered enough signatures, their proposal would have appeared on the November general election ballot.

The proposal would have given a state-funded rebate to Nebraska taxpayers equal to 35% of the taxable value of their property. Some prominent conservatives backed the proposal, but critics, including Gov. Pete Ricketts, argued that it would lead to major cuts to services or tax increases elsewhere.

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“With public gatherings and even personal contact limited, there is no reasonable expectation that we can finish the task without needless risk to the health and safety of our circulator network and to Nebraskans in general,” the group said in a statement on its website.

Two other ballot campaigns to legalize casino gambling and medical marijuana have said they’re confident they’ll have enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot.