Amy Emshoff, left, and her husband Alan, far right, listen to Senator Laura Ebke at John E’s bar and grill on Tuesday, April 17.
State Senator Laura Ebke spent an hour Tuesday (April 17th) afternoon with constituents in Exeter.
Ebke plans to visit with every community in her district in the next few weeks.
Her stop in Exeter was the day before the final day of the legislative session and she spent a few minutes detailing the schedule for the final day.
The afternoon session was open for any constituents to ask Ebke questions about issues that were important to them.
One matter of upmost importance to the taxpayers gathered was the issue of property tax and what can change with that. Ebke was asked if the legislature will go into a special session to deal with the issue.
“I don’t object or oppose a special session but just not right now. . . it’s too early to start discussing anything. The estimate for a special session is $12,000 a day and we just don’t have enough ready to justify having the special session. A special session is limited in scope and takes a lot of preparation.”
Ebke was asked which tax bill was her favorite. Her response, “We have to be realistic about taxes. Senator Friesen had a good bill. We have to fix property tax and fix school funding together.”
Ebke lamented the struggle the legislature has with finding the funding for everything while still cutting taxes.
An additional tax on services was brought up by constituent Alan Emshoff. “I think sales tax exemptions should be looked at first. There are 120 of them.”
Ebke responded, “I think we need to look at the current exemptions before we expand the tax base. There’s nothing to cut that somebody doesn’t love. You have to decide what you want to go to war over.”
She also briefly discussed internet sales tax.
After discussing some of the exemptions the topic changed to term limits. Ebke noted, “It’s better for the legislature and the state, for senators to serve longer. We are losing institutional knowledge. This (her fourth year) has been my best year, I have able to strategize and work with people to get things done.”
One constituent noted that Ebke is running against two others on the non-partisan ballot. She spoke of her opponents in a positive light and explained that there will be three listed on the primary ballot and the top two will move on to the regular election in November.
Two other topics were briefly discussed including a bill on NPPD transparency which required NPPD to make their contracts available for the public to view. Senator Ebke voted for the bill but explained that it didn’t pass.
The final topic was the issue of occupational licensing. During the legislative session just completed horse massage licensing was passed and Ebke talked about the different reasoning behind requiring licensing.