field notes NEBRASKA

Nebraska Notes Legislative Breakfast

Our annual Nebraska Legislative Breakfast/Committee Meeting was recently held at the Nebraska Club in Lincoln. It was wonderful to see so many dealers and senators. This event was a terrific opportunity to visit and get to know some of the freshman senators and to learn about their views on important issues. Thanks to all of the dealers who attended. This event continues to be a high priority for INEDA and one that sen- ators look forward to attending. Many have told me they enjoy this event because there is no pressure put on them as a group, just individual discussions with constituents. I’ve also been told that we serve one the best breakfasts of the session.

While most conversations were positive, we discovered there are still a couple areas in Nebraska where we need to educate senators on the Right to Repair issue. Industry officials from Deere, CASE IH, New Holland, AGCO and Caterpillar are all standing by ready to help senators and customers understand the dangers of modifying any electronic control units on equipment. Look for more information after the legis- lative session on plans for these demonstrations. In the meantime, if you hear a customer complain about not being able to repair or maintain a piece of equipment due to a lack of information or tools, let me know so we can help you share what is already available to assist them with equipment repair. This way we can hopefully head things off before it becomes a bigger problem. So far, we have successfully stopped any Right to Repair legislation from being introduced this session.

Property Tax Relief

It appears that this may be the year for property tax relief in Nebraska. While several competing bills have already been introduced, we are a long way from a plan that will prove acceptable to everyone. From what I have seen, it appears there is a commitment from all sides to work together and formulate an acceptable plan. The main difference from previous sessions is that the call for lower income taxes, while still being heard, is not as loud or strong as it has been in the past. All factions seem to understand that the first issue to tackle is property taxes. Any other tax decreases will have to wait.

Online Sales Tax Collection

Several bills had hearings this week concerning the collection of sales tax for sales made by out-of-state vendors via the internet. This has become possible due to the recent Supreme Court ruling on a case from South Dakota. All bills introduced in Nebraska copy the ruling from the Supreme Court, which will hope- fully remove the state of Nebraska from any possible legal issues, requiring out-of-state retailers to collect Nebraska sales tax when they sell in Nebraska. It is the hope of everyone involved to have a state statute that covers both online retailers and brick and mortar retailers outside the state. Most states currently enacting legislation are making the same requirement as the Supreme Court case – 200 transactions or $100,000 in sales – to trigger the requirement for collections. If you are selling taxable items into another state, I suggest you give the Association a call to find out what your responsibilities are, since it may vary by state.

MARK OTHMER, Nebraska Field Director []

4 | The Retailer Magazine | Mar/Apr

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