Gov. Ricketts discusses outages, vaccines, taxes in replace Wednesday morning

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Gov. Ricketts discusses outages, vaccines, taxes in update Wednesday morning

Gov. Ricketts discusses outages, vaccines, taxes in update Wednesday morning

Updated: 11:11 AM CST Feb 17, 2021

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go to store washing your hands often 20 seconds at a time, please. And again, one of the key things is make sure that if you have that fever that cough or if you’ve lost sense of taste or smell that you stay home so that you don’t spread the virus. Obviously, we want you to go get tested to make sure. But I know Nebraskans like to kind of power through when they get sick, but this is not the time to be able to do that. So please do that. And of course, you can take advantage of test Nebraska to be able to get tested. I actually got tested on Sunday and I got my test results back in less than eight hours. So we’re generally getting those back in 24 to 48 hours. I think over the last seven or 14 days, we’ve been doing it in about 14 hours. So again, we’re getting those test results back very quickly. So please sign up and do test Nebraska dot com to be able to help out. With that, we have delivered on C 676,000 test results back. So a lot of test results coming back from test Nebraska dot com and again avoid the three C’s. Those crowded places. Close contact. Confined places. Those are places where the virus will have more of an opportunity to spread, so please continue to avoid those as well. And of course, all of this is about making sure we preserve our hospital capacity. We’re currently at 100 585 hospitalizations. Uh, we have 137% of our hospital beds are available, 39% of our I C U beds are available and 79% of our ventilators. So we have robust hospital capacity and we’re at a stage right now where we have a hospital beds. That 185 is about 4.5% of our overall hospital beds. It’s a stage where we’re back in September. So good news there continue to use these tools to be able to slow down the spread of the virus so that we can continue to preserve our hospital capacity. Obviously, also, one of the things we’re experiencing right now is extreme cold, so we want people to take precautions to make sure that your putting, you know, proper, uh, safety supplies in your car if you’re gonna be driving around having at your house. We talked about that last week is well, and one of the things we’ve experienced with this cold is the rolling blackouts. So, first of all, I want to thank all of our, uh, utility and power workers who have been at the plants working to keep power generation going in our linemen who are working to keep that power generation going. A lot of people working around the clock to be able to do that. Uh, the utilities like NPP D and O P. P. D. And L. D s have all asked people to turn down their thermostats. We appreciate people who are making those sacrifices. However, these rolling blackouts are completely unacceptable. This is the United States of America. We’re not some developing nation who has an unreliable power grid here. We have to have a conversation in this country about the power sources that are supplying energy to our power grid because we cannot have these rolling blackouts at a time when we have these frigid temperatures. So I’ll be working with state senators other governors talking to power executives about how we move forward to make sure this does not happen in the future. My take on what we’ve seen, however, is that we’ve got great reliability with things like coal and nuclear. In fact, are Gerald Gentlemen, plant, I think, is providing over 50% of our states energy in fact, up to 57%. And that is a source that is not intermittent. And you can store the energy on site. Same thing with nuclear. We have other sources, like wind power, that air intermittent, and you can’t store where natural gas where you can’t store. One of the things that we’ve experienced with this cold weather is those natural gas pipelines freezing up? So apparently we have to have a better infrastructure for that. And if we are too reliant on those sources, then we’re going to see these types of rolling blackouts. And you can just imagine if radical environmentalists get their way and have passed the clean power plan or the green New Deal that these situations will become even more dire. So we have to have a conversation this country about our energy mix to make sure we continue to have reliable source of energy like coal, like nuclear, to be able to make sure this does not happen again. This is utterly unacceptable that we have to endure these rolling blackouts, especially a time when it’s so cold. So that’s what we’ll continue to focus on. And I’ll be working with folks to be able to make sure that we start having these conversations that we address this issue with regard to what our power, the proper power mixes and how to make sure that this does not happen again in the future. Second thing, I want to get into vaccines. We are gonna have a press briefing tomorrow. We’ll get into more detail. We have delivered 303,000 vaccines here in Nebraska, and I wanna just spend some time talking a little bit about Phase one B and clarify what we’re doing there. So as I talked about last week in Phase one B, we are prioritizing. I’ve asked the public health departments to focus 90% of their efforts around. Folks were 65 years and older. The reason we’re doing that is that 83% of the deaths we’ve had in the state have been from folks who are 65 years or older. If you take it down to 55 years and older, that’s like 94% of all of our deaths. Age has been the single biggest factor that we see in the data from Nebraska. This Nebraska data with regard to who’s most at risk for dying if you get coronavirus. And that’s why we’ve asked health directors across the state to really focus on that category. Now we have given them some latitude that 10% don’t wanna walk through that because teachers are in that phase one b category, that top tier. However, we have other groups in there that are, uh, prioritized ahead of that because it relates to public safety. So when you look at the public safety and this is again, what we’ve directed public health directors to do is focus on that. With that, 10% focused on the public safety aspects. That means again first responders and law enforcement, our tops in that category that’s public safety, making sure that the people who are keeping us safe are being prioritized. Also, we have critical utility workers, those critical infrastructure. Workers that help us keep the power on the heat going. And certainly during this cold snap, we can all see why that’s important. That’s a public safety issue. Also in there is the staff at homeless shelters and again way, especially we have again. This cold weather is really demonstrating when we have very cold weather like this. We can’t have homeless shelters closing down because those folks don’t have any place to go, and so they would be a great risk. And again, that’s a public safety issue, to not allow those shelters to be open and have a place for people to go. So that’s that’s a public safety issue. And then finally, in that category in phase one B that is prioritizing public safety is our correction staff, or so the staff of jails and prisons. And again, it’s a public safety issue. We have to maintain the staffing at those facilities so that the inmates could be taken care of and that they’re not, you know, in danger of having a staff shortage that or whatever. So that’s why that’s prioritize there as well. These were public safety issues, making sure we keep our corrections and jail staff part of that prioritization and face one being that top tier. So those are the folks that are prioritized for public safety reasons on why they’re in phase one b uh, right right behind when we’re talking about 65 year old 75 year olds. And those were the first people that should be doing it in that 10% category. And so Dr Rati Poor and Douglas County, for example, is doing it exactly right. She’s doing exactly what she’s supposed to be doing in prioritizing things that have to date with public safety is part of her 10% allocation that is not focused on the 65 year olds or higher. So I want to just clarify all that the Doctor poor is doing exactly the right thing in Douglas County. All right, so next is property tax. So last year the Legislature passed I signed L B 11 07 and this is a tremendous step forward providing property tax relief. It will provide when fully phased in additional $375 million in property tax relief, as well as codifying the $275 million we have in the Property Tax Credit Relief Fund and my budget proposal this year. If you do all the things I proposed to my budget, we can actually provide with the property Tax Credit Relief Fund, L B 11 07 and the Homestead Exemption program $1.36 billion in property tax relief in the upcoming by any by any now, the way 11 07 works is that you will receive a refundable income tax credit based upon the property taxes you pay to schools. And that is part of the program here that we want to talk about today. And so our tax commissioner, Tony Fulton, also our property tax administrator, Ruth Sorensen, are here to describe a tool that we have at the state of Nebraska to be able to help you determine what that credit will be for you, so that you can claim that credit on your income taxes. So again, this is gonna be a refundable tax credit, which means that even if you don’t oh, income taxes to the state of Nebraska, we will still give you a check for that different. So if you don’t owe income taxes. We’re gonna write to a check for that refundable property tax credit. So again, this is Ah ah, great way that we’re continuing to help provide property tax relief here in the state. It’s a great program. 11. 07 And so we’ve got our tax commissioner, Tony Fulton, who’s gonna come up and talk to us a little bit more about that. So, Tony, I’m gonna have you come up and I think we’re Ryan. You’re gonna be ableto demonstrate the tool here, So please come on up. Okay. Very good. Thank you, Governor. Well, hello, Nebraska. We have some good news to share. It’s always nice and thes times, thanks to the work of Governor Ricketts and the Legislature, for the first time ever, you’ll be able to claim a refundable income tax credit for a portion of the school district taxes you’ve paid. And it’s the governor emphasized a refundable credit. That means that even if your state income tax liability is zero, you will still receive the balance of the credit as a re front as a refund from the state. But you have to claim it. It’s that time of year when we must file our income taxes, and we are encouraging Nebraskans to use our Nebraska school district property tax. Look up tool again, as the governor emphasized earlier, use this tool to determine precisely how much credit you’re entitled to based on the property taxes you’ve paid the school property taxes you’ve paid, that is, and this is the important point. And the reason why we wanna make this point of emphasis in this news conference. If you claim or credit than you’re entitled to under the law or if you claim a different amount than you’re entitled to, your refund could be delayed. We don’t want that. So please, please use our look up tool to ensure this doesn’t happen. This will ensure that your refund will come in inefficient, uh, in an efficient manner in a timely manner. Nebraskans can access this tool at our website, and that website is revenue dot Nebraska dot gov. We have the tool featured prominently on our website. Again, it’s revenue dot Nebraska dot gov. I’m gonna turn this over to our property tax administrator, Ruth Sorenson, who will give you a short demonstration of this look up tool. Truth. Very good. Thank you governor. Thank you, Tax Commissioner. It is a pleasure to be here indeed, because this is a very important look up tool for all property owners in the state of Nebraska that own property. Real property, of course. And on the screen to my left is the Nebraska Department of Revenue website. And if you go to the website, it’s under the what’s featured, um, on the main page. And so as we go down the main page, you’ll find the look up tool that is being demonstrated here. So we begin with a look up tool, and this is going to assist again taxpayers to understand what their allowable school district taxes paid on their parcels for the tax year 2020. It’s important that the taxpayers understand that this is for real property on Lee and that it is for, um what we call qualified school district taxes. So this amount may not match up with the tax statement that you received from your county treasure. The property owner will begin by selecting the county where their property is located. In this case, we’re gonna be using Lancaster County. There is a box to the right of for the partial i d number the next field to be completed. And if you don’t know your partial idea, if you don’t have your real attacks real property tax statement, which is what we strongly encourage you to use for your partial i d. Some counties call it personal number. There is the look up tool to the right of the box there, and it brings up all the websites for all the counties, all 93 counties. You’ll note that on some of them, there’s, uh, a statement indicating that you will have to use a leading zero. And that is because of a vendor issue that we have with some of the websites, not all but just a few counties. The other thing that’s important to know is the data that we’re using on this look of tool was gathered and compiled from all 93 county treasures or their vendors, and we took all that data and compiled it so it would calculate the credit amount for are taxpayers. So if we go back, I’ve selected a partial I D that will be using, and so we already know our partial ideas, so I don’t have to go to that website. So we’re gonna enter the parcel, I’d and the tax there will be 2019. Then we hit next. And then we want to verify this information to make sure that we did in fact, enter the correct parcel number. Now we know it’s correct. So we’re gonna hit the next button and then here, this on the screen. It’s asking if you sold your property. So if you sold your property during the year, you’ll get the partial credit, and then the new owner will get the other partial credit. So here you would enter. Yes. If you did selling, you’d enter the date of the sale. However, in this case, this was not properly was not sold. So we’re gonna use the We’re gonna answer no to both of these questions and hit next and here. Now you can scroll down and you could see which school district taxes are being calculated for this parcel, which should align with your real property tax statement. And as we scroll down the red amount is the amount of the credit that this property owner will receive once they calculate that amount on the foreign PTC if you paid Mawr, there’s a link up there where you would indicate you paid more. And the Onley the red amount on this tab will change. And so you would then enter that red amount. This looks like it’s 2718. So then we have this information we click next and again. This is the final screen. We encourage you to print this for your records. If I had more than one parcel, I would go back and add another parcel. So if I owned a couple parcels of ag land ground and then I also owned a residents, I couldn’t go back and add that parcel in this table will, um, accumulate and it will calculate that amount for you, the total amount. So this amount, the 2007 18, is the amount that we are going to enter on the form PTC, which is also on our website, and Ryan has it there for us. So we’re gonna enter at 2007 18 on line one, line three and then in that box line five, where we enter the owner county number, the tax year and the dates that I own that property. Now, The county number is not the number on your license plate. You, if you don’t know your county number, you would go to back to that website that link that had the websites and it lists a county alphabetically and numerically. So Lane Custer is 55. So I know that Lancaster’s 55 so I have put it there on this form. Then I go up back up to line four and I take that 2007 18. And this year the percentage of credit is 6% based on the funds available. And so in this example, this taxpayer would enter $163 as is shown there on the screen. Then again, we print this form and submit it with your 10 40 Nebraska income tax return. And then this amount will go on your Nebraska income tax return to show the credit. And that is on line 36 of the Nebraska income tax return. And you can see that we have a pre populated that with $163 and so this taxpayer would complete their 10 40 include this line 36 and then calculate the amount of refund er amount owed. And that is the quick demonstration for I guess it face you give out. You are else for the website Department of Revenue. We also here partial. I’d also what happens if you find okay? The the governor’s asked me to provide the website again. It’s revenue dot Nebraska dot gov, and it’s under, um, we have what’s featured if if we go back to the home page and so there’s featured information, pardon me in that red link, there is going to bring you to look what we call the landing page and that there will contain the as. The governor is asking me to explain the websites where you can look up your parcel IDs. And so there in the blue box on the second blue box, you can click on that, and that will bring up that document that had all 93 counties listed on it there. And the websites are linked there, and each county has their own unique website. And then his final question was, What if you file electronically? Um, it would be the same process. You would go through this filing electronically we allow you to attach documents, and so you can e file as well, which we encourage anybody else, okay?

Gov. Ricketts discusses outages, vaccines, taxes in update Wednesday morning

KETV

Updated: 11:11 AM CST Feb 17, 2021

On Wednesday, Gov. Pete Ricketts held a press conference to discuss Nebraska’s work to support coronavirus vaccinations and other topics.He began by addressing the rotating outages, saying Nebraska Public Power District, Omaha Public Power District and Lincoln Electric System have asked people to turn down thermostats. He said the sacrifices are appreciated but reiterated his feeling that rolling blackouts are “completely unacceptable.””This is the United States of America, we are not some developing nation who has an unreliable power grid here. We have to have a conversation in this country about the power sources that are supplying energy to our power grid. Because we cannot have these rolling blackouts at a time when we have these frigid temperatures,” he said. Ricketts said that if radical environmentalists get their way, the rotating outages will continue and things will get worse. Asked if reliance on wind energy is to blame, he said it’s not in Nebraska. He said the state has a “power mix” but other states have become too reliant on non-storable energy.Moving on to COVID-19, the governor said more than 300,000 vaccines have been administered in Nebraska and hospital capacity is looking good.”Thirty-seven percent of our hospital beds are available, 39% of our ICU beds are available and 79% of our ventilators. So we have robust hospital capacity,” he said. He said the state is now in Phase 1B, prioritizing those 65 and older. Ricketts said nearly 85% of deaths in Nebraska have been made up of those in this group. “Age has been the single biggest factor that we see in the data from Nebraska, with regard to who’s most at risk for dying, if you have coronavirus. And that’s why we’ve asked health directors across the state to really focus on that category,” he said.He said teachers will be included in Phase 1B but that they are not the highest priority. He said first responders, law enforcement and critical utility workers are being focused on. Corrections staff and homeless shelter staff is also a priority. The governor said those that are being prioritized are critical to public safety. Asked why the state is ranked so low in vaccine distribution, Ricketts said he doesn’t know why people think that. He said, according to the New York Times, we’re number 20 in second doses. Ricketts said he will push to allow long-term care residents to see their loved ones, as 90% of residents have been vaccinated.The governor said residents will receive a refundable income tax credit based upon the property taxes paid to schools. “This is going to be a refundable tax credit, which means that even if you don’t owe income taxes to the state of Nebraska, we will still give you a check for that difference. So if you don’t owe income taxes, we’re going to write you a check that refundable property tax credit. So yeah, this is a great way that we’re continuing to help provide property tax relief here in the state,” he said. Tony Fulton, Nebraska Tax Commissioner, said residents should use the school district property tax lookup tool to determine how much credit they are entitled to based on school property taxes paid. Nebraskans can access this tool at revenue.nebraska.gov. Officials said the tool is featured prominently. In the video above, they walk through the process of using the lookup tool.

On Wednesday, Gov. Pete Ricketts held a press conference to discuss Nebraska’s work to support coronavirus vaccinations and other topics.

He began by addressing the rotating outages, saying Nebraska Public Power District, Omaha Public Power District and Lincoln Electric System have asked people to turn down thermostats. He said the sacrifices are appreciated but reiterated his feeling that rolling blackouts are “completely unacceptable.”

“This is the United States of America, we are not some developing nation who has an unreliable power grid here. We have to have a conversation in this country about the power sources that are supplying energy to our power grid. Because we cannot have these rolling blackouts at a time when we have these frigid temperatures,” he said.

Ricketts said that if radical environmentalists get their way, the rotating outages will continue and things will get worse. Asked if reliance on wind energy is to blame, he said it’s not in Nebraska. He said the state has a “power mix” but other states have become too reliant on non-storable energy.

Moving on to COVID-19, the governor said more than 300,000 vaccines have been administered in Nebraska and hospital capacity is looking good.

“Thirty-seven percent of our hospital beds are available, 39% of our ICU beds are available and 79% of our ventilators. So we have robust hospital capacity,” he said.

He said the state is now in Phase 1B, prioritizing those 65 and older. Ricketts said nearly 85% of deaths in Nebraska have been made up of those in this group.

“Age has been the single biggest factor that we see in the data from Nebraska, with regard to who’s most at risk for dying, if you have coronavirus. And that’s why we’ve asked health directors across the state to really focus on that category,” he said.

He said teachers will be included in Phase 1B but that they are not the highest priority. He said first responders, law enforcement and critical utility workers are being focused on. Corrections staff and homeless shelter staff is also a priority.

The governor said those that are being prioritized are critical to public safety.

Asked why the state is ranked so low in vaccine distribution, Ricketts said he doesn’t know why people think that. He said, according to the New York Times, we’re number 20 in second doses.

Ricketts said he will push to allow long-term care residents to see their loved ones, as 90% of residents have been vaccinated.

The governor said residents will receive a refundable income tax credit based upon the property taxes paid to schools.

“This is going to be a refundable tax credit, which means that even if you don’t owe income taxes to the state of Nebraska, we will still give you a check for that difference. So if you don’t owe income taxes, we’re going to write you a check that refundable property tax credit. So yeah, this is a great way that we’re continuing to help provide property tax relief here in the state,” he said.

Tony Fulton, Nebraska Tax Commissioner, said residents should use the school district property tax lookup tool to determine how much credit they are entitled to based on school property taxes paid.

Nebraskans can access this tool at revenue.nebraska.gov. Officials said the tool is featured prominently. In the video above, they walk through the process of using the lookup tool.