Nebraska Proposes 100% Tax Hike on CBD and Hemp Products Amidst Property Tax Relief Bill

A recent legislative move in Nebraska aims to introduce significant tax reforms alongside property tax relief measures, including a notable adjustment affecting CBD and hemp products. The proposed Legislative Bill 388, spearheaded by Senator Lou Ann Linehan and passed by the Revenue Committee, advocates for imposing a 100% tax on CBD and hemp products.

The bill, endorsed by Governor Jim Pillen, outlines various tax amendments, including the removal of sales tax exemptions on items like candy, soda, and pet care services. Additionally, it seeks to raise taxes on cigarettes and vaping products, while introducing a substantial increase in taxes on games of skill and lottery tickets.

The anticipated tax changes are forecasted to generate approximately $182 million in new revenue. Senator Linehan estimates that this additional income will facilitate substantial property tax credit funds, aiming to allocate $3,000 per student in foundational aid and provide $650 million in property tax relief.

While Governor Pillen hails the bill as a historic step towards property tax reform, it has sparked controversy among Nebraska lawmakers. Senator Julie Slama voiced strong opposition to LB-388, denouncing it as the largest tax increase in state history.

Criticism also emanated from John Gage, the state director of Americans for Prosperity, who lambasted the bill as detrimental to Nebraska families. Platte Institute CEO Jim Vokal echoed these sentiments, labeling LB-388 as flawed tax policy, advocating instead for constraints on revenue and spending growth.

Meanwhile, amidst legislative debates, Nebraska continues to grapple with the legality of cannabis. Despite the illegality of cannabis in the state, the thriving market for hemp-derived cannabinoid products persists. Senator Teresa Ibach introduced Legislature Bill 199, proposing a ban on the sale, possession, and consumption of such products, citing concerns over undisclosed chemicals and impurities.

However, amidst these regulatory discussions, advocacy for medical cannabis legalization remains fervent. Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana (NMM) diligently gathers signatures to qualify their initiative for the 2024 ballot. Recent polling indicates significant public support for medical cannabis legalization, further fueling advocacy efforts.

As Nebraska navigates through intricate legislative landscapes, the fate of cannabis taxation and legalization remains intertwined with broader tax reform and public health considerations.


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