Mark Othmer, Nebraska Field Director, email@example.com
The dog days of summer are upon us. I think I have discovered the true meaning of the “good ol’ days.” I remember anxiously awaiting the end of the school year when I would be able to waste the day away playing with my friends, fishing, and attempting to train my newest best friend, a springer spaniel puppy named Joe. Those were truly the “good ol’ days.”
Then one day my Dad came to me and said, “Son, do you think you could drive the tractor on the baler for me today?” I was the ripe old age of 10, and little did I know that this was the beginning of the end of the “good ol’ days” for me. Responsibility was about to make an appearance in my daily schedule, forcing me to help milk the cows, feed the calves, slop the hogs, and—worst of all farm activities—fix fence. Anytime I heard those two words—fix fence—I knew it was going to be a rough day. Much of our farm pastures were heavy timber with streams and creeks running through them. Fence fixing days always seemed to come with heat and humidity; the higher these were—it seemed—the more fence needed mending. And into my teen years, the fence fixing also seemed to begin early in the mornings following a night of returning home after curfew.
So, it is with that thought in mind that I began penning this article. School is out, which is an expression that folks involved with legislative activity often use once session is complete. We now have time to take stock of what was and wasn’t accomplished in the 90 working days of the previous session. My report is that once again, persistence pays! While INEDA has tried for several years to correct a problem we felt was created by Nebraska Department of Revenue, we had been unsuccessful. Since 2013, multiple reports of tax audits of farm equipment dealers resulted in large “tax due” issues over not collecting sales tax on header trailers and seed tenders. In the 2021 session, we were successful in passing LB 595, which included the provisions in LB 672 that was introduced by Senator Murman (for the second time). On October 1, 2021, header trailers and seed tenders will officially qualify for the ag sales tax exemption. I want to thank Senator Murman for his attention to this issue. He took on this project several years ago and did not give up on it. If any of you know him personally, please thank him for sticking to this project.
There were other successes in legislature this year, mostly tied to corporate income tax reductions and property tax reductions. We will find out if these changes help business conditions in Nebraska, and I’m betting they do. Also, if you are of a certain age (author included), a phase-out of income tax on social security benefits will begin in 2022. It will be monitored annually to assure that tax receipts are not affected negatively, a concession that had to be made to get the bill passed.
And the best news—we were able to stall LB 543, the right to repair bill, in Judiciary Committee until next session. Nebraska Farm Bureau is in the process of writing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between themselves and equipment manufacturers to address the continuing availability of diagnostic tools and information for all—farmers and independent repair shops included. Once the MOU is completed, the introducing Senator has agreed to drop this issue.
INEDA Healthcare Program
If you have not already signed up for an onsite visit from INEDA Healthcare representatives, you will want to do it soon. We all know that health insurance is a major expense for dealerships, and INEDA has devised a plan that meets some core requirements: a high value proposition with solid coverages and, most importantly, stability in pricing. I know many dealers have experienced double digit price increases in the past on health insurance, and we hope to have found a way to address that. You can go directly to the webpage, www.inedahealthcare.com, to learn more about the program and also contact us for information or a personal visit. I have been meeting with dealers in the month of June and have a full schedule. Please let us know if you want to consider the INEDA Healthcare program so we can schedule an appointment with you.