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Video Exclusive: Suttle opposes Governor’s plan to cut income taxes

By   /   February 5, 2013  /   17 Comments

Joe Jordan | Nebraska Watchdog

Republican Governor Dave Heineman’s grand plan to cut the state’s income tax has run into its first major political opponent.

In an exclusive on camera interview (see video below) with Nebraska Watchdog, Omaha’s Democratic Mayor Jim Suttle says in recent days he’s heard from businesses and individuals worried the governor’s plan will backfire and eventually cost them more.

Suttle says Heineman’s proposal is a “rush to judgement counting on a windfall of sales tax dollars.”

The governor’s plan—backed by all four of Suttle’s mayoral opponents— would replace the individual and corporate income taxes with $2.4 billion in sales taxes on manufacturing, farming and other areas that are currently exempt. Food would remain tax free.

“The consequences are that the middle class, those that are on fixed incomes and poor citizens of our community are the ones that are ultimately going to pay for the policy changes that are on the table right now by the governor,” said Suttle.

Heineman takes his plan to the Legislature’s Revenue Committee Wednesday where he will testify at a public hearing.

Suttle tells Nebraska Watchdog he will not testify in person but the administration will make its opposition clear.

Following Nebraska Watchdog’s interview the Omaha Chamber of Commerce announced it “cannot support” the governor’s tax plan as currently drafted and is taking a neutral position.

What are the numbers behind the mayor’s decision? Is there a tax cut he’d support? Take a look, beginning with Suttle’s new hard line against the governor.








Joe formerly served as staff reporter for Watchdog.org.

  • I agree with Mayor Suttle; shifting the income tax burden from corporations to
    manufacturing, farming and other areas (raising the sales tax on almost all
    purchases to a rate from 10% to 12%) would be a terrible burden on the poor and middle class. These changes in taxes would affect young people just starting out in life who need to buy things that others already have. Yes, it would fall equally on everyone; but not everyone can afford to pay for the products being taxed at the higher rate. This would be an unfair burden on the poor and middle class who would be less likely to afford this change. $2.4 Billion is a lot of money to make up and it is very likely that Medicare and other programs will be cut because of the changes. Don’t let this happen. Again, only the upper class will benefit from these changes.

  • WeaselClubber

    Of course Suttle opposes tax relief. It’s in his DNA.

  • Joan

    WeaselClubber…You need to get your head out of the sand. This is a Nation wide plan by Republican Governors to take monies from the poor and middle class and give it to the wealthy. What part of Mitt Romney’s campaign did you fail to understand in the, “47%” comment. The majority of this country are not stuck on stupid and Mayor Suttle is demonstrating one more time his knowledge. Heineman plan = reverse Robin Hoodism

  • Suttle is speaking nonsense. I DID crunch the numbers. None of the tax exemptions which are being considered for elimination benefit the poor! Screw SUTTLE!

  • So you think exempting the sales of bull seaman from the sales tax benefits the poor? NONSENSE! Meanwhile Omaha poor people pay 7 percent tax on diapers, toilet paper, heating gas, electricity and water. Get the facts!

  • Joan

    I suggest you go to a source that knows a little more than you do. When reading the article take your blinders off. The author is Phil Krugman and is published on 1-28-13, The New York Times. Called Makers, Takers, Fakers You could learn something. By the way, thanks but no thanks but I don’t want to “Screw Suttle”. He and his wife Deb are outstanding members of our community.

  • resistwemuch

    Joan: The reason Robin Hood didn’t steal from the poor was because they didn’t have anything to steal. Although the majority of this country are not stuck on stupid you certainly are.

  • Watching_From_Lincoln

    Today’s “Modern Republicans” are hell-bent for leather to undo EVERY positive thing that their Republican predecessors did to benefit We The People – from Teddy Roosevelt’s establishment of the National Parks System and clamping down on Corporate America through strict enforcement of the Anti-Trust Laws, to Eisenhower’s building of the National Infrastructure (the Interstate System) and progressive Federal Income Tax Rates, to the Republican votes that were necessary to enact the Great Society social reforms and Equal Rights legislation in Congress, to Nixon’s protection of our environment for future generations by establishing the EPA, Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, to even Nebraska Governor Norbert Tieman’s restructuring the Nebraska Tax base to be more fair and equitable to all people and businesses in Nebraska. They want to roll back or eliminate EVERY good thing done by the Republican Party for the PEOPLE of the United States over the past eleven decades.

    Why? Perhaps because these “Modern Republicans” want to remove EVERY trace of a reminder as to what a REAL Republican is, so that we do not have anything to compare to what their true agenda is, Fascism. The ONLY benefactors of either proposed HeineyMan Tax Plan are big Corporations and the very wealthy in this State. This plan will be just one more giant FAILURE by HeineyMan to install a fascist-leaning, Ayn Rand falsehood ideology of society upon Nebraskans. Two perfect examples of the failures of HeineyMan’s social order restructuring are the DHHS/BSDC debacle and the total disaster he created out of trying to privatize the State’s Foster Care system.

  • Joan

    Thank you!

  • Joan

    REALLY? Democrats won the election by a majority inspite of Republican attempts to cheat every way but loose.

  • Pat Boyle

    I take it you’re not a religious person.

  • Joan

    What a sin that Omaha poor people (say incomes less than $15,000) pay 7%. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if they were given a card whereby if they were that poor they paid no sales tax. But beings that we are the wealthist country in the world we couldn’t do something like that?

  • Hunyock

    The fact that Mayor Suttle is the lone candidate that is against this huge mistake of a bill shows that he is also the only candidate that is looking out for the taxpayers of Omaha. This bill would be devastating to the city. Much of the manufacturing in the state is here in Omaha and they would get hit hard by the increased cost of the materials needed to run their companies. Many companies would consider shutting down or just move across the river to avoid these taxes. Our students would end up paying more for their room and board while in college making it more difficult for some to go to college. Increased cost on the farmers will quickly be seen on the grocery shelves. Also, our medical centers would be hit hard as well and would have to pass these cost down to the patients.
    I seriously don’t see any up side in this unless you make 6 figures a year.
    These bills were drafted in the span of about 2 weeks, you cannot tell me that there were any serious studies done to figure out the impact that these two bills would have on the state.

  • Hunyock

    I really liked the article in the Sunday Omaha World Herald today on Feb 10th that show the study of the effect of this to the citizens of the state. Unless you make less than $90,000 a year, most people will end up paying more because of these bills. Citizens of Omaha will end up suffering even more because some manufacturing businesses will cut down on staff or end up moving to avoid paying more sales tax or shut down all together, putting people out of work. Mayor Suttle was the only candidate running that didn’t just do what the Governor wanted. He actually checked the math and it doesn’t add up for Omaha.

  • Tim Kelly

    I think it is a disgrace what the Governor is doing with eliminating state income tax. It is a complete scam and don’t understand why he thinks people can’t do math. This is just a transfer of burden to primarily the lower incomes so the wealthy and corporations can pay less and no taxes. We are plenty competitive for bringing business and in fact strange as it seems our least attractive draw is an already lowest unemployment in the country since companies would have to compete for jobs. Anyway people wake up. This game is trying to be played in LA as well and everyone knows that governor will be on his way out.

  • Tim Kelly

    I think Jim Suttle may be the only Politician that gets it on the state income tax elimination. The guy doing the interview is obviously not very smart asking how do you know without crunching the numbers. Well da its math and the money has to come from so where and since your not getting specifics will that’s bells and whistles people and they may try to make it look good to start but later comes the adjustments. Crazy state just because Republicans are RED doesn’t mean to vote for them.

  • Tim Kelly

    I know people will complain that Jim Suttle raised your property taxes and the restaurant tax but you can’t have it all. The restaurant tax does make people mad but it is one of the best taxes that gets paid by many people that don’t live here and its just part of being creative and understanding distribution.