Governor Pete Ricketts signs LB 1261e
Nebraska State Capitol
LINCOLN, Neb. (KNOP) - Today, Governor Pete Ricketts signed LB 1261e during a ceremony at the Nebraska State Capitol. LB 1261e extends the Nebraska Advantage Rural Development Act, which had been set to expire at the end of 2022. The bill also expands the Nebraska Advantage Rural Development incentive program to provide ten times the amount of available tax credits annually for eligible investments in rural Nebraska.
LB 1261e includes provisions from LB 596 to provide tax credits to fuel retailers selling E15 or higher blends of ethanol. Retailers can apply to the Nebraska Department of Revenue for a credit of 5 cents on each gallon of E15 sold and 8 cents per gallon of E25 or higher blends sold.
Senator Dave Murman of Glenvil introduced LB 1261e. Senator Joni Albrecht of Thurston introduced LB 596, known as the Higher Blend Tax Credit Act. Contents of Senator Albrecht’s bill were incorporated into LB 1261e.
Transcript of Ceremonial Signing of LB 1261
April 19, 2022 – 4 p.m.
Senator Dave Murman Remarks
Thank you, Governor Ricketts, and good afternoon.
I was very pleased to introduce LB 1261, which will bolster Nebraska’s agricultural sector. As enacted, this legislation promotes Nebraska agriculture in two important ways.
Nebraska Advantage Rural Development Act
With the goal of promoting investment in Nebraska agriculture (through livestock modernization or expansion) and to encourage
businesses to locate in rural Nebraska, LB 1261 amends the Nebraska Advantage Rural Development Act by raising the maximum amount of credits allowed for approved projects each calendar year ($1 million to $10 million) and increasing the credit cap for an approved application (10% of the investment not to exceed $150,000 to 10% of the investment not to exceed $500,000 per application).
This program exists because the livestock industry does not qualify for the traditional business incentives that are given out under the Nebraska Advantage or ImagiNE Act. The Nebraska Advantage Rural Development Act encourages investments in livestock production and facilities. The amounts allocated to this program annually have not been adjusted up since at least 2017, even though the costs of livestock production investments have increased dramatically since that time. There is far more demand for these incentives (in terms of applications) than the program currently provides, so this would help address the unmet demand.
Under the original provisions of this Act, no new applications could be filed after the end of this year. LB 1261 now extends the sunset date an additional five years.
[The second part of this bill is the Nebraska Higher Blend Tax Credit Act which Senator Albrecht will discuss.]
Nebraska Higher Blend Tax Credit Act
LB 1261 includes Senator Albrecht’s LB 596 which creates the Nebraska Higher Blend Tax Credit Act.
The language of this bill establishes incentives for petroleum retailers to increase higher ethanol-blended gasoline sales from the current E10 blend to blends between E15 and E85. The incentives would be 5 cents per E15 gallon sold and 8 cents per gallon sold for E25
and higher blends. These incentives are comparable to what other states in our region are doing, including Iowa, Missouri, Michigan, and Ohio. The total amount of incentives available is capped initially at $2M but if the program is used widely the cap increases to $4M. The incentives sunset after 5 years.
In a time of extreme inflation, pain at the pump, and uncertainty around the globe, this amendment brings lower prices at the gas station to hardworking Nebraska families, increases demand for our corn growers, while also improving air quality and helping America establish its energy independence.
Again, thank you Governor Ricketts for you continuing support of Nebraska agriculture.
Thanks to Senator Brandt for cosponsoring the bill and to Senator Dorn for prioritizing this bill.
[Thanks to Senator Albrecht for bringing LB 596 and amending it into LB 1261 and to Senator Friesen for being a cosponsor.]
A big thanks to Senator Linehan for moving both bills out of Committee and to Speaker Hilgers for making LB 596 a Speaker priority and ensuring that both bills had an opportunity to advance.
Thanks to the Ag Leaders group and the Ethanol industry for their support throughout this process.
With agriculture being the largest industry in Nebraska, we need to do all that we can to incentivize investment in projects that would benefit rural Nebraska and the state as a whole and help our corn growers. This bill will benefit the agriculture sector as well as rural shops, restaurants, banks, and ultimately the taxpayers.
The Nebraska Higher Blend Tax Credit Act will bring lower prices at the pump, increase demand for our corn growers, improve air quality, and help us in our goal to move toward energy independence.
This bill is good for Nebraska and I’m very happy to have it become law.
Copyright 2022 KNOP. All rights reserved.