Senator Carol Blood of Bellevue took issue with Flood’s proposal (LB713), arguing that “my concern is local control” and that funding the TIF is a matter of local government.
Christy Abraham, legal counsel for the League of Nebraska Municipalities, opposed the bill, suggesting it “limits local control” while noting that casinos will still pay property taxes.
The TIF allows developers to negotiate a loan to help cover the costs of redevelopment in areas designated as degraded. The funding tool is designed to attract developers who would otherwise not redevelop an area.
“We don’t need to entice anyone to build a casino in Lincoln,” Flood noted.
WarHorse Gaming also plans to build a $220 million hotel and casino in Lincoln near US 77 and West Denton Road.
Omaha’s Pat Loontjer, executive director of Gambling with the Good Life, agreed with Flood’s assessment that the initiative’s link to property tax relief was “reason #1.” why voters approved casino games.
“It was sold to the public as property tax relief,” she said.
Seventy percent of gambling income tax has been earmarked for property tax relief. The initiative was overwhelmingly approved by nearly 70% of Nebraska voters.