Pillen will not lead trade mission, instead plans to prepare for property tax special session

July 9, 2024, 6 a.m. ·

Jim Pillen in Beatrice
Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen shares his approach to cutting property taxes at a town hall event in Beatrice. (Photo by Brian Beach/Nebraska Public Media News)

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Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen said he will no longer lead a 12-day trade mission to Indonesia this summer.

Instead, Lt. Gov. Joe Kelly will lead the mission, giving Pillen more time to meet with senators about his upcoming tax plan.

“I've never done special sessions before so some of the dates got a little out of whack,” he said during Monday’s Nebraska Broadcaster’s Association Governor’s Monthly Call In Show. “My decision was that Joe could do as well or better than me on a trade mission.”

At a series of town halls across the state, Pillen has said he wants to reduce property taxes by 40% and have the state take over funding for K-12 schools in Nebraska.

No plan has been put in writing, but Pillen called it a “living, breathing process” and said he wants to get everyone’s input before a plan is written.

“I've been with a lot of legislators, but not everyone, and that'll be my goal the next three weeks,” he said. “I'll be sitting down multiple times with as many in the unicameral as I possibly can.”

Pillen said there is still work to do to build consensus, but he is optimistic that progress is being made.

“We're going to get the votes, we're going to get through, we're going to fix this crisis because it affects every Nebraskan,” he said.

Pillen previously told senators to anticipate a special session on property taxes to begin July 26.