A report from the Nebraska Department of Revenue finds property taxes rose statewide by almost $170-million between 2012 to 2013. That’s about 5.2%.
In Cedar County, land valuations rose more than 21-percent, while taxes levied jumped 5.6%.
County Commission chairman Dave McGregor says they control increases to just cover their rising costs.
“We use what we need to maintain the county, the salaries and everything we do, but also when the valuation goes that high, we look to lower the levy,” McGregor says. “In the last year, we lowered the levy I believe 4 cents, so it’s from 26 to 22.”
McGregor says a lot of highway costs that used to be covered by state and federal funds are now the county’s responsibility.
“They have put a huge burden on the counties overall,” McGregor says. “When we lost our federal funding and they changed the funding for bridges and roads that we had, they put that burden pretty much on the counties.”
Governor Dave Heineman has made tax cuts his main legislative priority this year, including property taxes. McGregor says such a cut would be very difficult for many counties.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton