Self storage operators in Nebraska are being encouraged to fight a bill that would add sales tax to industry unit rentals. The state legislature will begin debate this week on Legislature Bill 289 (LB 289), which changes provisions relating to county assessor inspections of real property for property-tax purposes.

LB 289 was introduced in January. If passed, it would bring the largest tax increase in the state’s history, according to sources. In addition to increasing the sales-tax rate from 5.5 percent to 6 percent, the measure would impose new taxes on 20 services, including self storage. It would also cut property-tax relief from the state in half, raise the cigarette tax by 36 cents and increase the tax for buying a house.

Revenue from LB 289 would increase state aid to K-12 schools by about $500 million, sources report. Taxes on self storage rentals would generate $1.2 million.

Like most states, Nebraska doesn’t currently tax self storage rentals. To express their concern regarding the bill, industry operators can contact their district senator. The national Self Storage Association (SSA) has also created a customizable e-mail message for their use. The form is available by e-mailing Joe Doherty at jdoherty@selfstorage.org, the SSA’s senior vice president, legal and legislative counsel.

The bill faced overwhelming opposition from state residents when heard two weeks ago by the legislature’s revenue committee. Governor Pete Ricketts has also spoken against it.

“When debate on LB 289 starts, Nebraskans will feel a bit of déjà vu. The bill is premised on the notion that Nebraska can finally get property-tax relief if we raise a bunch of other taxes to lower property taxes. The truth is that this method has been tried and failed,” Ricketts wrote in his weekly column. The governor offered three proposals and said he’d work with senators to find a solution.

Proponents of the bill released estimates showing homeowners in seven areas would receive a property-tax reduction, even after paying the higher sales taxes. “It's not a tax increase,” said Senator Lou Ann Linehan, a sponsor. “For the vast majority of people, it's a tax decrease.”


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Anastasia Malagisi

Anastasia leads the Radius+ marketing efforts. She was previously Director of Marketing & Outreach at the national Self Storage Association, where she developed integrated marketing and communication strategies. She has over a decade of experience in the self storage industry and 15 years’ experience in building brand visibility and establishing strategic partnerships. Anastasia received a B.A. in Public Relations from Quinnipiac University and an MBA Certificate from Canisius College.