Economic Tidbits

Ten Years of Property Tax Growth

Property taxes continues to be a concern for farmers and ranchers and other property owners. Many factors like local budgets, assessed values, state aid amounts, and locally unique events all play a role in determining the amount of property taxes levied and changes over time. As a result, growth of property taxes vary across the state.

Figures 2 and 3 illustrate the changes in property taxes across counties between 2010-2020. Figure 2 shows the percentage changes in taxes levied on agricultural land. Figure 3 shows the percentage changes in total property taxes levied. Note the scales on the figures are different, however, darker colors indicate greater increases in taxes levied. Taxes levied do not account for reductions in taxes due to the property tax credit program. So, actual taxes paid would have been less.

The average growth in total property taxes levied between 2010-2020 across all counties was 52 percent. The growth in taxes on agricultural land averaged 80 percent per county, while increases on residential property averaged 27 percent. Taxes levied on agricultural property grew the most in Douglas County, almost 151 percent, and the least in Keya Paha County, 22 percent. Total taxes levied increased the most in Stanton County, rising over 80 percent. In contrast, Keya Paha County experienced the smallest growth in total taxes levied at just 18 percent.

More information on property tax changes between 2010-2020 can be found at: https://www.nefb.org/property-taxes-levied-in-each-county-across-nebraska-between-2010-2020. The website also includes a map showing growth on residential property in each county. And, the maps are interactive so specific data on individual counties can be found.
The different rates of growth of property taxes levied are one reason policy makers find it difficult to forge a policy to reduce property taxes. Trying to find a set of tax reform policies that will treat taxpayers equitably given the varying rates of past growth can be problematic.

Figure 2. Percentage Change in Property Taxes on Ag Land, 2010-2020

Source: Nebraska Farm Bureau based on data from the Nebraska Dept. of Revenue

Figure 3. Percentage Change in Total Property Taxes, 2010-2020

Source: Nebraska Farm Bureau based on data from the Nebraska Dept. of Revenue

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