LINCOLN, NE—The state’s three largest Chambers of Commerce are voicing their support for the passage of the ImagiNE Nebraska Act, scheduled for debate in the Nebraska Legislature this week.

LB720, sponsored by Senator Mark Kolterman of Seward and co-sponsored by 20 other state senators, looks to revamp Nebraska’s incentives structure to attract new business to the state and to keep existing businesses operating, expanding and succeeding in Nebraska.

“With Nebraska’s current incentive program, the Nebraska Advantage Act, set to expire in 2020, it remains vital to the state’s current and future economy that an improved business incentives program must be in place to keep Nebraska competitive in an increasingly global economy,” said Bryan Slone, President of the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce.

“We must keep our ‘open for business’ sign illuminated,” Senator Kolterman said, “and this bill sends that strong message to would-be employers.”

Senator Kolterman says now is the time to grow Nebraska’s economy by attracting business and development to the state, noting its importance to the future of Nebraska. The proposed program gives economic development leaders in the state better tools to accommodate the diversity of businesses seeking to locate or expand to Nebraska.

“This bill builds on the success of past incentive programs and modernizes the system to meet the state’s evolving needs for the next ten years. Nebraska cannot afford to be without a program,” says Senator Kolterman.

The ImagiNE Nebraska Act focuses on growing Nebraska’s workforce, growing Nebraska’s economy to increase revenue that supports necessary state programs and decreases the overall tax burden for Nebraskans.

As LB720 was developed with input from frontline economic developers across the state, the ImagiNE Nebraska Act helps to address Nebraska’s workforce shortage by allowing faster access to incentives for training or recruitment, establishing higher wage requirements and offering greater benefits for wage levels that exceed the state average.

Tax incentives under the ImagiNE Nebraska Act will continue to be awarded on a “pay-for-performance” basis, with no tax credits awarded to participating businesses until jobs are created or investments are made in Nebraska.

The program would benefit communities across the state with five qualification levels tailored to the needs of both large and small communities.

Simplicity, transparency, integrity and competitiveness are necessary updates to the current incentives plan, which are pillars of the ImagiNE Nebraska Act, according to Senator Kolterman.

“This legislature has the chance to send a direct message to business and industry through the ImagiNE Nebraska Act – we value your commitment to Nebraska, and we value the jobs you bring to our communities, border-to-border.”

To date, Nebraska incentive programs have created over 850 business expansions, resulting in over $30 billion in capital investment and 100,000 new jobs.

The Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce and the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce join other business leaders and groups across the state to voice their support for LB720, to achieve the goal of keeping economic development momentum consistent and strong in a competitive business climate for all Nebraskans.

For more information, contact:
Holley Salmi, Vice President of Communications & Policy, Nebraska Chamber of Commerce at (402) 474-4422 or ufnyzv@arpunzore.pbz.
Jill Bruckner, Communications/Public Relations Manager, Greater Omaha Chamber at (402) 978-7920 or woehpxare@bznunpunzore.bet.
Chris Whitney, Communications Coordinator, Lincoln Chamber of Commerce at (402) 436-2376 or pjuvgarl@ypbp.pbz.