Economic Tidbits

Sector Shares of Property Taxes

The shares of taxes levied by property sectors in Nebraska ebb and flow over time. Property values, policy decisions, population growth, property taxes levied, and other factors all play into the shares different property sectors pay.

The interactive graph below provides snapshots from 1980 to 2020 of changing sector shares of total taxes levied. For the purpose of the graph, real and personal property taxes levied are combined. Thus, the agricultural sector includes taxes levied on land, buildings, and machinery. The data for the figures comes from the Nebraska Department of Revenue. For context, total property taxes levied in 2020 were 542 percent greater than those levied in 1980, an average increase of 5.4 percent per year over the 40-year period.

In 1980, agriculture accounted for 34 percent of property taxes levied while residential and commercial accounted for 42 percent and 20 percent respectively. In 2020, agriculture’s share declined to 29 percent; commercial property’s share stayed roughly the same at 21 percent; residential’s share increased to 47 percent.

The difference between the two years, though, do not tell the entire story. They only show two points in time. Click on the image below and you can pick any other two points in time between 1980 and 2020 and the story changes. For example, as recently as 2016, agriculture accounted for over 35 percent of total taxes levied while residential property accounted for just over 42 percent. To watch an animated graph showing the changes in sector shares in 5-year increments over the 40-year period click on image below.

Figure 2. Property Tax Share by Sector, 1980-2020

Source: NEFB graphics based on Nebraska Department of Revenue data

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