A bill that would implement the provisions of a constitutional amendment approved by Nebraska voters in November is moving fast in the state legislature, advancing from general file (first reading) Feb. 16.

LB 25, introduced by Omaha Sen. Justin Wayne, would extend the repayment period of tax-increment financing from 15 to 20 years if more than half of the land in a project is designated as extremely blighted.

Sen. Mike Groene of North Platte supported the bill, saying it would prohibit abuse of TIF funding.

“Maybe finally, finally we’ll have some TIF done where it’s supposed to be done — not for economic development but to help the blighted and substandard areas.”

Wayne said several commercial developers have expressed interest in using the extended payback period on projects in Omaha since voters approved the constitutional change.

“In Omaha, Lincoln and a handful of other Nebraska communities, there are pockets of the city that undoubtedly meet the current definition of substandard and blighted for purposes of TIF but struggle to attract developers,” Wayne said. “By allowing for a longer TIF repayment period in these areas that we deem extremely blighted, LB 25 would help incentivize the use of TIF where it is sorely needed.”

Lawmakers advanced LB 25 to select file on a 39-0 vote.