Nebraska

Nebraska

Budget Cycle
Biennial  

Governor Submits Budget
January 15

Fiscal Year Begins
July 1 

Governor Signs Budget 
June

Enacted Budget – Fiscal Years 2024-2025
Nebraska Governor Jim Pillen signed the state’s fiscal 2024-2025 biennial budget bill on May 24, 2023. The two-year budget calls for $15.34 billion in total spending in fiscal 2024 (a 2.7 percent increase from fiscal 2023) and $15.23 billion in total spending in fiscal 2025 (a 0.7 percent decrease from fiscal 2024). General fund spending is estimated at $5.35 billion in fiscal 2024 (a 4.3 percent increase from fiscal 2023) and $5.37 billion in fiscal 2025 (a 0.3 percent increase from fiscal 2024). General fund revenues are projected at $6.44 billion for fiscal 2024 and $6.38 billion in fiscal 2025. The budget projects an ending general fund reserve balance of $686 million and a cash reserve fund balance of $829 million at the end of the biennium. At the end of session, Governor Pillen highlighted the achievements of the legislative session including signing a budget that makes key investments in Nebraska’s future, provides property tax relief for Nebraskans, and lowers income and business taxes to 3.99 percent. The budget fully funds the state school aid formula, provides funds for salary increases for state employees, allocates the remaining funds needed to construct a new state prison, and invests in the Perkins County Canal to protect the state’s water access on the South Platte River.

Proposed Budget - Fiscal Years 2024-2025

On January 25, 2023, Nebraska Governor Jim Pillen released his recommended budget for the 2023-2025 biennium. Spending from all funds is recommended at $14.09 billion in fiscal 2024, a 3.7 percent decrease from fiscal 2023, and $13.96 billion in fiscal 2025, a 0.88 percent decrease from fiscal 2024. The budget recommends two-year average growth in general fund spending of 1.3 percent, with fiscal 2024 at $5.29 billion (a 2.5 percent increase over fiscal 2023), and fiscal 2025 at $5.291 billion (a 0.01 percent increase over fiscal 2024). Nominal growth in general fund net receipts is estimated to increase by 0.46 percent in fiscal 2024 compared to fiscal 2023. The governor’s recommendation provides an unobligated balance of $1.6 billion or 31 percent of General Fund appropriations in the Cash Reserve Fund at the end of the biennium. 


Proposed Budget Highlights 
The recommended budget focuses on providing tax relief, investing in students, protecting public safety, connecting Nebraskans to opportunities to ensure a thriving workforce, and making investments in infrastructure. Recommendations include the following:

Tax Relief

  • Recommends cutting income and business tax to 3.99 percent by tax year 2027.
  • Provides for the ability to fully phase in Social Security tax exemptions by tax year 2024.
  • Recommends growing the Property Tax Credit Relief Fund by $390 million.
  • Reimburses taxpayers for community college property tax paid by boosting the community college refundable income tax credit to 100 percent by tax year 2024.
  • Supports changing the way agricultural property is valued by assessing agriculture and horticultural land based on its income potential.

Educational Opportunities

  • Establishes a $1 billion Education Future Fund to provide investments for special education in K-12 schools. The fund will be replenished annually with a $250 million transfer from the General Fund.
  • Provides an additional $1,500 per student to ensure every child has an opportunity to succeed.
  • Supports the creation of an annual $25 million non-refundable tax credit for certain contributions to fund education scholarships.
  • Creates an annual $5 million competitive grant program to encourage and facilitate mentorships within schools to focus on improving reading levels for kids between first and fourth grades.

Investing in critical needs

  • Provides $39.4 million for career scholarships within the higher education system to provide a minimum of 4,215 scholarships to focus on areas of highest need in the state.
  • Includes $10 million in FY2023-24 for recruitment and retention grants aimed to assist teachers, nurses, veterinarians, and other health care professionals.
  • Directs $10 million in FY2023-24 and FY2024-25 to continue the state’s marketing efforts to recruit and retain talented individuals.
  • Transfers $574.5 million in FY2023-24 from the Cash Reserve Fund to fully fund construction of the Perkins County Canal Project.
  • Directs $95.9 million from the Cash Reserve Fund to complete financing of the Nebraska State Penitentiary replacement to house approximately 1.512 inmates.
  • Provides an increase of $18.6 million for law enforcement officers to address critical shortages.

Other

  • Recommends the transfer of $100 million from the Cash Reserve Fund to the Roads Operation Cash Fund to finance the match required for additional federal funding related to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
  • Increases appropriations by $69 million in FY2023-24 and $130.6 million in FY2024-25 to finance recommendations for state personnel pay increases.