Nebraska Grain and Feed Association
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NE Grain & Feed

ALMOST 700 BILLS INTRODUCED IN 102ND LEGISLATURE’S FIRST SESSION

NGF MONITORS PROPOSALS INCLUDING FEED FEE, INCREASED FIRE MARSHAL INSPECTION FEES

The Nebraska Grain and Feed Association (NGF) have reviewed several bills that have been introduced during the first ten days of the 102nd Legislative Session.  Some of the bills the Association is following may not seem important to the industry but could become a vehicle for other negative purposes.  There are several bills of in particular importance to the grain and feed industry. 

LB 305 would establish a State Cooperative meat inspection program with the initial funding coming from a $200,000 transfer over the next two years from the commercial feed administrative cash fund.  The commercial feed cash fund derives from the-per ton fee paid by elevators and feed manufacturers on manufactured feed and feed ingredients.  The fund is only intended to support the state Department of Agriculture's feed inspection program.  This fund, which usually amasses a surplus, has over NGF’s objections repeatedly been raided over the past several years by the legislature and diverted to certain unrelated programs or the general fund in times of a tight budget. 

Over two years ago, NGF and the Nebraska Cooperative Council (NCC) successfully supported a regulatory reduction in the-per ton feed fee from the statutory ceiling of $.10 per ton to $.06 per ton and where it currently stands.  The primary purpose for supporting a reduction in the-per ton feed fee was to eliminate significant surpluses in the cash fund from amassing, and making the fund less attractive as a means to fund unrelated programs.  Because of the ethanol industry's abundant production of DDG’s, the fund even at its current per ton fee continues to amass a slight surplus. 

The Association fears that if the legislature is successful in transferring the $200,000 over the next two years from the commercial feed cash fund to the State Cooperative meat inspection program, any remaining funds left in the commercial feed inspection fund will be insufficient to carry out the state Department of Agriculture’s feed inspection program, and the Department will be forced to propose an increase to the per ton feed fee we worked so hard to decrease.  NGF will continue to urge legislators to resist any raid on the commercial feed inspection cash fund for any other purpose than to support the feed inspection program. 

LB 443 would increases fees relating to services performed by the State Fire Marshal.  The fee increases, which in most instances would double over the current schedule, would apply when the fire marshal inspects and reviews company construction plans, blueprints, and shop drawings to determine compliance with rules and regulations.  The increased fees would be based on a graduated scale based on the total value of the proposed structure or improvement.  NGF has significant concerns over the increase and believes the proposal flies in the face of this administration's promise not to increase taxes during this budget crisis. 

LB’s 517 and 588 would establish a state elevator inspection act for any commercial conveyances.  Importantly, as drafted, both bills would not apply to inspecting elevators under the jurisdiction of the federal government or elevators used exclusively for agricultural purposes or private residences.  We will monitor this legislation closely to maintain the current agricultural exemption especially as they relate to manlifts.

The following bills are also of interest to the grain, feed and ethanol industries and additional updates will be forthcoming. They include;

LB 84 - Provides for bonding for highway construction to be paid for by sales tax.

LB 378 - Governor’s Appropriation Bill to the EPIC Fund.  The EPIC fund is the $.20 per gallon tax credit which goes to the production of ethanol and which expires in 2012.

LB 379 - An appropriation bill that provides funding for the EPIC Program.

LB 429 - Provides for a change in motor fuel tax collection commissions.

LB 432 - Creates sales and use tax credits for renewable export facilities.  The bill as drafted would allow an owner of a certified renewable export facility to receive a limited refund of certain sales and use taxes paid on eligible renewable property.  The refund is limited to fifteen percent of the sales and use taxes paid on eligible renewable property by the owner during the calendar year. 

The bill also creates a job and rural trust tax credit.  The credit in turn could be used to receive a refund of sales and use taxes paid on eligible renewable property by the owner of a certified renewable export facility.  The amount of credit that could be used by the owner of a certified renewable export facility would be limited to twenty-five percent of the sales and use taxes paid on the eligible renewable property. 

LB 504 - Increases the state gasoline tax paid by producers, suppliers, distributors, wholesalers, or importers.  The bill is one of others aimed to generate more dollars to increase the lagging pace of state and local road construction and repair projects.  First, the bill as drafted would increase the gas tax from the seven and one-half cents per gallon to eleven and three-tenths cents per gallon until October 1, 2012, and than fifteen and one-tenth cents per gallon after that and deposited to the Highway Trust fund for state road construction. 

Then, there would be an additional increase from two and eight-tenths per gallon to four cents per gallon until October 1, 2012, and then five and two-tenths cents per gallon thereafter, which is distributed to local and county governments for road construction projects.   Importantly as drafted, the tax would not apply to manufactured ethanol or biodiesel. 

LB 592 - Provides a mechanism for creating a Check-off Program.  This will not compete with any existing check-offs, and does not establish any new check off.

LB 691 - Provides requirements for state government to purchase bio-based products.

LB 698 - Provides for voluntary labeling of retail gasoline pumps.  This would eliminate any state mandatory labeling requirements for the percentage of ethanol included in gasoline blends.

 

calendar of events

August 4, 2017

NeGFA Summer Meeting & Golf Outing

York Country Club

York, NE

 

 

 

 

contact us

Nebraska Grain and Feed Association
4600 Valley Road, Suite 416
Lincoln, NE 68510-4844
Phone: 402-476-6174
Fax: 402-476-3401