LINCOLN, NEB. – Nebraska Farm Bureau is encouraging Nebraskans who’ve suffered damage to real property as a result of flooding or other natural disasters to be aware of a recent change in state law that will allow them to seek a reduction in the value of damaged real property for tax purposes. Nebraskans whose real property was destroyed on or after January 1 and before July 1 can file a “Report of Destroyed Real Property – Form 425” with the county assessor and county clerk to apply for reassessment. Property owners must file the report by July 15.

“We applaud the Legislature’s passage and Gov. Ricketts signing of LB 512. We know many Nebraskans are still working through catastrophic losses caused by this spring’s floods. This is good legislation and a positive step in the right direction to help those in need today, but also to help those in the future who suffer from disaster related circumstances well beyond their control,” said Steve Nelson, Nebraska Farm Bureau president. 

The “Report of Destroyed Real Property – Form 425” application can be accessed on the Nebraska Department of Revenue Property Assessment Division website or through the Nebraska Farm Bureau website at www.nefb.org. Separate Form 425 applications for damaged property are required to be filed for each parcel of damaged property.

Under the new law, real property damage must have occurred as the result of a disastrous event, including, but not limited to, fire, earthquake, flood, tornado, or other natural event which significantly affects the assessed value of real property.

Destroyed real property means real property that suffers significant property damage resulting from the above events on or after January 1, 2019 and before July 1 of the current assessment year. Destroyed real property does not include property damage caused by the owner of the property or an occupant of leased property.

Significant property damage means:

  1. Damage to an improvement exceeding 20 percent of the improvement’s assessed value in the current tax year as determined by the assessor;
  1. Damage to the land exceeding 20 percent of a parcel’s assessed land value in the current tax year as determined by the county assessor; or
  1. Damage exceeding 20 percent of the property’s assessed value in the current tax year as determined by the county assessor if:
    1. The property is in an area that has been declared a disaster area by the governor, and
    2. A housing inspector or health inspector has determined the property is uninhabitable or unlivable.

The county board of equalization will consider the report to determine any adjustments to the assessed value of the destroyed real property for the current year.

The county board of equalization must act upon this report on or after June 1 and on or before July 25, or on or before August 10 if the board has adopted a resolution to extend the deadline to hear protests under Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-1502, and must send a notice of the reassessment value for the destroyed real property to the property owner.

“It’s important Nebraskans are aware of this new law and we hope those who meet the qualifications now, and in the future, will be able to utilize it in their recovery efforts,” said Nelson. “We thank Sen. Steve Erdman for his work to bring this measure to the Legislature and Sen. Lou Ann Linehan for helping push this bill across the finish line.” 

The Nebraska Farm Bureau is a grassroots, state-wide organization dedicated to supporting farm and ranch families and working for the benefit of all Nebraskans through a wide variety of educational, service and advocacy efforts. More than 61,000 families across Nebraska are Farm Bureau members, working together to achieve rural and urban prosperity as agriculture is a key fuel to Nebraska’s economy. For more information about Nebraska Farm Bureau and agriculture, visit www.nefb.org.