- Tax Increment Financing: We are developing a database to provide information on the impact of Tax Increment Finance (TIF) districts on the taxpayers of the City of Omaha. The information will include connections between campaign contributors, elected officials and aggregate TIF authorizations. In order to make this information easily accessible by PRI and the public, we have designed a relational database of information about TIFs in Omaha that will be made freely available to the general public on our website.
- Tax Burden: This project involves conducting a tax burden analysis to demonstrate the tax share paid by various income levels in the city. The District of Columbia Finance Office does a well-reputed annual study of the incidence of tax on different income levels among the largest cities in each state. We will analyse the data from this study to hone in on Omaha. The purpose of this project is to determine whether taxes (of all kinds) in Omaha are regressive, progressive or proportional, and what policy recommendations might come from this determination.
- Power Structure: We will conduct a Power Structure Study to examine who sits on the boards, committees, task forces and other decision-making bodies in Omaha and Douglas County in order to assist citizens in understanding local political decisions. The purpose this project is to give the public insight into how decisions are made in the city and county, and to provide citizens with the information needed to affect the decision-making process.
- Transportation: Several proposals have been made recently concerning Omaha-area transportation. We will conduct a transportation study to evaluate these proposals and make recommendations for the future. One study, coming from the Metropolitan Area Planning Agency (MAPA), recommends that a beltway be constructed on the outskirts of the city. A recent proposal from the Omaha mayor’s office envisions a light rail system within the city to connect various neighborhoods. Our transportation study will review both options and present an independent recommendation.
POSITION & CONCEPT PAPERS
As issues of interest surface in the Omaha Area, the Progressive Research Institute will develop and disseminate position and concept papers. Position papers will present analysis, opinions and recommendations to encourage citizen action. Concept papers will describe and summarize issues, and present all sides in order to foster citizen discussion and debate.
The studies, position papers and concept papers produced by Progressive Research Institute will be freely available to the general public on our website.
Speakers will be made available for civic and fraternal organizations including churches and neighborhood associations.
Press releases/conferences will advise the media of the availability of the databases and studies, their content and implications.
Appearances in local media by the researchers or other spokespersons for the Progressive Research Institute will provide an opportunity to discuss each study, position or concept paper as it is released.
PARTNERSHIPS FOR ACTION
The Progressive Research Institute will partner with other organizations in order to generate and support progressive action on issues that have been researched or analyzed by PRI.