- Associated Press - Friday, August 5, 2016

ASHLAND, Neb. (AP) - State officials say they’re looking to improve and expand the Nebraska Advantage Act, which gives qualified businesses state incentives.

Gov. Pete Ricketts said Thursday that Nebraska Department of Economic Development Director Courtney Dentlinger and other state officials are meeting with Chambers of Commerce and businesses across the state to brainstorm different ideas to keep businesses in the state and attract additional ones.

The Omaha World-Herald (http://bit.ly/2aYyzpl ) reports that the incentives are based on the dollar amount of investment in Nebraska and number of jobs created, starting at $1 million in new investment and 10 new jobs.

Businesses are offered a wage credit and partial refund of sales taxes paid on qualified capital purchases. They can also be granted personal property exemptions for things such as ag-processing machinery and planes.

The state officials announced the effort to revamp the incentives at the Federal Legislative Summit, which was attended by about 200 people, including state legislators and the state’s congressional delegation. The state and the Lincoln and Omaha Chambers of Commerce sponsored the event.

Ricketts said state leaders are beginning to gather information about possibly expanding the incentives program.

Meanwhile, elected officials emphasized that working together is the state’s top priority as they updated Nebraska business leaders on local and federal legislation that can benefit the state’s economy.

“The name of the game is teamwork,” Ricketts said.

Dentlinger touched on topic such as the high frequency at which Nebraska is losing its most educated professionals.

“We have a chance to keep them here or at the very least plant seeds with them to bring them back,” Dentlinger said.

Ricketts said reducing regulatory burdens and making government more efficient will attract and retain Nebraska residents.

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Information from: Omaha World-Herald, http://www.omaha.com

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