LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - After a bill meant to cut property taxes by removing sales tax exemptions died on the last day of the 108th Legislative session, Governor Jim Pillen confirmed to 10/11 News that he will call a special session before school begins.

“We’ll for sure have a special session. And at this stage of the game, I’ve learned never to tie myself to timeline. I’ve made that mistake too many times in my life, and it was real costly,” Gov. Pillen said.

In Gov. Pillen’s end-of-session speech on April 18, he said he would call a special session to complete unfinished business, including cutting property taxes and winner-take-all.

Senator Lou Ann Linehan and the revenue committee were initially tasked by Gov. Pillen to find a way to cut property taxes by 40%, or about $2 billion of what is collected annually. The bill made it past the last two rounds of votes, but it died as the Legislature declined to vote on the last day of the session.

Special session cost estimates

The Nebraska Examiner reported this special session could be among the costliest in Nebraska history.

According to the Nebraska Examiner, estimates from the Legislature’s accounting office include breakdowns for special sessions of varying lengths this year:

  • Five days: $79,686 ($15,937.20 per session day).
  • Seven days: $130,165 ($18,595 per session day).
  • Ten days: $174,876 ($17,487.60 per session day).

Three years ago, senators returned for a 13-day session on redistricting, which cost a total of $105,436, or $8,110.46 per session day. If the estimates hold, it would be the largest per-day cost increases between sessions in Unicameral history.

Shelley Reed, legislative business manager for the Legislature, told the Nebraska Examiner that it’s difficult to determine the exact cost until the length of a special session is known.

Gov. Pillen said during the interview with 10/11 that running a special session is nothing compared to issues such as property tax increases.

“I mean seriously, the cost of running a special session is pennies compared to our property tax increases, our tax increasing that’s taking place, that’s going up like a rocket ship. It’s not even a cost,” Gov. Pillen said.