The Lincoln Chamber of Commerce is often asked, "Where do you stand on this issue?" In an effort to help members and potential members answer that question, these six statements were created as an outline of support. These principles, in conjunction with direction from our Board, formulate specific positions on issues that directly affect the business community.
Six Statements of Core Policy
The Lincoln Chamber of Commerce (LCOC) promotes a positive business climate that is conducive to growth of jobs, investment and tourism. The Lincoln Chamber will pursue this goal together with other community and business organizations to improve the quality of life and standard of living for Lincoln citizens. The following are our core statements of policy:
- The Lincoln Chamber of Commerce supports performance-based tax incentives, and continuing competitive analysis of such programs which emphasize achievement of the economic development strategies identified in the Angelou Economics Report and strategic plans adopted by the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development.
- The Lincoln Chamber of Commerce encourages fiscal responsibility at all levels of government and seeks to eliminate the duplication of services and programs.
- The Lincoln Chamber of Commerce supports the pursuit of government efficiencies gained through mergers and consolidation.
- The Lincoln Chamber of Commerce supports the examination and prudence of total tax system impacts and spending issues; we oppose any shift in taxes outside of such context.
- The Lincoln Chamber of Commerce supports routine governmental reviews of governmental efficiency and spending control and opposes enactment of new or disguised forms of taxation outside of such reviews.
- The Lincoln Chamber of Commerce supports market competition as the most efficient means of ensuring high levels of service, innovation and competitive pricing. Regulations of any kind should undergo stringent cost/benefit analysis to ensure compliance costs will not stifle the benefits generally produced by market competition.
The Lincoln Chamber of Commerce will continue its critical role as the primary business advocate for Lincoln’s growth. We will be focused, issue-based, and non-partisan while asserting the positive and essential role business plays in improving our community and expanding opportunities for all citizens.
The Lincoln Chamber’s key Local policy objectives for 2017:
COMMUNITY INFRASTRUCTURE – The Lincoln Chamber of Commerce believes infrastructure funding should be one of the top priorities for Lancaster County and the City of Lincoln. As the way we do business changes, issues such as high‐speed broadband communications and other non‐traditional assets are now being recognized as necessary infrastructure for modern businesses. Therefore, the Chamber is committed continuing its role of advocating for not only road, water, and sewer infrastructure; but also the necessary technological upgrades to Lincoln’s infrastructure that allows our community to remain globally competitive. Completing both the South AND the East Beltway to close the transportation loop will be an area of particular focus for the Lincoln Chamber. We will continue to push the Nebraska Department of Roads for full funding of the East Beltway in the second 10 years of the Build Nebraska Act. Additionally, a gap remains between the current revenues available for infrastructure and the current list of needs. The Chamber will actively work to protect sources of local infrastructure until further progress is made in addressing Lincoln’s funding gap.
TALENT ATTRACTION & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT – The Lincoln Chamber actively supports local initiatives designed to facilitate the LPED strategic economic development plan. This includes special emphasis on completing recommendations put forward in the Angelou Economics report. The Lincoln Chamber commits to collaborating with all partners to realize the ultimate goal of making Lincoln a renowned destination for building a business, pursuing a career, and entrepreneurship.
TAX ALLOCATION & GOVERNMENT EFFICIENCY – The Lincoln Chamber continues to uphold the belief that each local governmental body should have a general goal to not increase property tax reliance more than the rate of inflation.
CVB MISSION SUPPORT – Increasing the number of visitors to Lincoln has a positive effect on Lincoln’s economy. More visitors translate into additional sales tax dollars that can help off‐set the community’s reliance on Property Tax dollars. These efforts will include pursuing youth related ball fields associated with the planned Sports Triangle near Haymarket Park, the Breslow Ice Center, and Memorial Stadium.
SUSTAINING LINCOLN’S MOMENTUM – The Lincoln Chamber of Commerce is committed to growing Lincoln. To that end, the Lincoln Chamber will continue to advocate for the continued development of the West Haymarket area, the development of the Air Park Rail Center/Industrial Park, South Haymarket, South of Downtown, East Downtown and the development of the University of Nebraska’s Innovation Campus. These projects represent the future of both Lincoln and the State of Nebraska.
Approved by Board of Directors
The Lincoln Chamber’s key State policy objectives for 2017:
ECONOMIC GROWTH AND COMPETITIVENESS – Continued strong economic and population growth is essential for the competitiveness of our state. The Lincoln Chamber will prioritize support for legislative proposals that enhance economic growth, workforce development, and training. The Chamber will work to facilitate the LPED strategic plan for the Lincoln region by supporting public policies and legislative proposals that align with these strategies and strategies under the Nebraska’s Next Economy report to the state from SRI International. Additionally, the Chamber will continue to collaborate with the State Chamber, the Greater Omaha Chamber and other organizations and institutions that support a more competitive tax system for Nebraska.
TAX RELIEF & SPENDING RESTRAINT – The Lincoln Chamber continues to support lowering the tax burden. Nebraska has moved in the right direction recently in national tax rankings. Tax relief must include a focus on spending restraint; state and local governments must set priorities. Without spending restraint from all levels of government, so called tax relief can easily turn into a tax shift that does nothing to lower our overall tax burden. Our income taxes are among the highest in the region and this undermines our competition for high quality jobs and investments, as well as talent retention.
ROAD INFRASTRUCTURE – The Lincoln Chamber will prioritize efforts to protect the Build Nebraska Act and safeguard the security of the HWY Trust Fund. The Chamber will continue advocacy and coalition building to secure state funds related to Lincoln’s South and East Beltway projects. The Chamber believes there is a significant funding gap for road infrastructure needs across the state. The Lincoln South Beltway, which is programmed for funding under the Build Nebraska Act, has enormous public safety, road system efficiency, and economic growth benefits. The Chamber will work cooperatively with coalitions of interested supporters to protect against any legislative efforts to undermine the Build Nebraska Act, and will support innovative legislative proposals aimed at accelerating road system investments.
STATE BUDGET & GOVERNMENT EFFICIENCY – The Chamber will expect efficiency from all levels of government and prioritize our support for state spending initiatives to those that leverage private investment, assist with the workforce development needs of business, promote public/private partnerships, and enhance our competitiveness for job and investment growth. We will support state leaders who work to promote overall fiscal restraint. State leaders should continue to be prudent in their protection and use of the Cash Reserve Fund. The Lincoln Chamber supports Governor Ricketts and state senators in their efforts to reform government and make better use of business principles in the operations and evaluations of its effectiveness. The Lincoln Chamber will lend support to government accountability and efficiency efforts, such as LEAN government reforms, and other top ideas as identified by policy makers and others.
REGULATORY REFORM – The Chamber will lend support to Governor Ricketts and senators’ regulatory relief efforts.
CVB MISSION SUPPORT – The Chamber will help the Convention and Visitors Bureau on state issues it identifies as top legislative priorities to assist in bringing more visitors, events, and conventions to the Lincoln area. With the 2013 opening of the Pinnacle Bank Arena and continued build out of the Haymarket, as well as consideration of other Sports Triangle opportunities, the Lincoln Chamber will work in coordination with the CVB to capitalize on opportunities for growing our market and protecting & enhancing local attractions.
SUPPORT MILITARY SERVICE – The Lincoln Chamber will support proposals that assist with attracting, retaining, and encouraging individuals who have a current status or background of military service and who desire to build a career or business in Nebraska. Our Military Affairs Committee will continue to reach out to employers and military personnel to enhance understanding and build cooperation.
Approved by Board of Directors
The Lincoln Chamber’s key Federal policy objectives for 2017:
FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY – The Lincoln Chamber will again stress the need for federal officials to address entitlement reform and the lack of federal spending discipline as serious issues facing our country. Previous health care system overhaul legislation was enacted with a promise the new health care entitlement would produce substantial deficit reduction. The Trump administration and leaders in Congress have promised more competition and improved health system efficiencies. Health spending accounts for about 17% of GDP and efforts to control costs will require a dramatic change in the way the U.S. Congress operates. The Lincoln Chamber calls upon all members of our federal delegation to support greater fiscal discipline in order to create a more competitive climate for private sector job growth.
INFRASTRUCTURE FUNDING – The Lincoln Chamber continues to be extremely concerned with how federal bureaucracy increases the time and costs of projects in Lincoln and across the state of Nebraska. The Chamber will work cooperatively with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the City of Lincoln and other organizations & coalitions to develop and advance solutions. Infrastructure funding will remain a primary focus of our federal policy efforts in 2017. We are encouraged by recent federal attention to our country’s vast infrastructure needs; regulatory reforms, funding stability, prioritization, and public/private partnerships can and should be a part of how we reform and reinvest in our infrastructure needs.
RESEARCH & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT – The Lincoln Chamber will place strong emphasis on supporting research‐ related federal requests that are complementary to the strategic plan adopted by the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development. Capitalizing on opportunities for public/private partnerships that leverage such research to help create high‐quality jobs and build our innovation capacity is essential to Nebraska’s future growth. The Lincoln Chamber will work cooperatively with the University of Nebraska, 2015 Vision, the City of Lincoln and other organizations & coalitions.
ENERGY POLICY – The Lincoln Chamber believes our economic future and competitive position are closely tied to our national energy policy. Federal policy initiatives should support: 1) Agriculture’s vital role in developing sustainable energy; 2) Market‐based, long‐term plans to create more available and affordable energy; 3) All of our domestic energy resources in a true “all‐of‐the‐above” energy strategy; 4) Thorough analysis of costs and benefits that account for the cascading impacts of regulation; 5) Inclusive and robust rulemaking that takes the time to get rules and regulations right rather than adhere to arbitrary and rushed deadlines; and, 6) Rational & economic‐based approaches on energy incentives.
IMMIGRATION REFORM – The Lincoln Chamber believes the time is right for our citizens and our elected officials to confront difficult and complex immigration issues. Immigration policies encompass incredibly important economic issues. Immigration and citizenship issues are deeply tied to societal values, national security issues, and our moral development as a nation of immigrants. The Lincoln Chamber will participate in local meetings and coalitions with the objective of gaining a better understanding of perspectives on this complex issue and will provide constructive input from a business perspective. This issue must be addressed on a bi‐partisan basis. Our nation and our state must continue as “welcoming economies” that invite diversity and inclusion.
TRADE – Increased trade can play a central role in America’s economic recovery. From a Nebraska perspective, trade also can be a major boost for both our agriculture and manufacturing sectors. There’s opportunity for growth by lowering trade barriers, and opening markets for American goods and services. Given the Trump administration’s hardline stance on trade, this will be a particularly important policy arena for our state to engage in and promote the benefits of open and fair trade.
Approved by Board of Directors