Overview of Nebraska Taxes
Nebraska has some of the highest property tax rates of any U.S. state. The average effective property tax rate in Nebraska is 1.83%. This ranks as the seventh highest rate in the country.
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To calculate the exact amount of property tax you will owe requires your property's assessed value and the property tax rates based on your property's address. Please note that we can only estimate your property tax based on median property taxes in your area. There are typically multiple rates in a given area, because your state, county, local schools and emergency responders each receive funding partly through these taxes. In our calculator, we take your home value and multiply that by your county's effective property tax rate. This is equal to the median property tax paid as a percentage of the median home value in your county.
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Jennifer Mansfield, CPA, JD/LLM-Tax, is a Certified Public Accountant with more than 30 years of experience providing tax advice. SmartAsset’s tax expert has a degree in Accounting and Business/Management from the University of Wyoming, as well as both a Masters in Tax Laws and a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center. Jennifer has mostly worked in public accounting firms, including Ernst & Young and Deloitte. She is passionate about helping provide people and businesses with valuable accounting and tax advice to allow them to prosper financially. Jennifer lives in Arizona and was recently named to the Greater Tucson Leadership Program.
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Nebraska Property Tax
Thinking about buying a home in Nebraska? Here’s something you might want to keep in mind: Nebraska has some of the highest property tax rates of any U.S. state. The average effective property tax rate in Nebraska is 1.83%, which ranks as the seventh highest rate in the country.
In Nebraska’s largest counties, however, the rate is even higher, exceeding 2% in some places. But if you are looking to buy a home in Nebraska, regardless of property taxes, check out our mortgage guide for information about rates and getting a mortgage in the Cornhusker State. Below, we will take a look at those county rates and review the property tax rules every Nebraska homeowner should know.
Looking to calculate your potential monthly mortgage payment? Check out our mortgage calculator.
How Nebraska Property Taxes Work
Property taxes in Nebraska can be paid in two installments. In most of the state, the first half must be paid by May 1, the second half by Sept. 1. In Sarpy, Lancaster and Douglas counties, the dates are April 1 and Aug. 1.
Taxes are calculated based on the market value of your home. County assessors determine market value annually, as of January 1 of each year. Residential property is assessed to 100% of market value, which means assessed value should equal the amount you could get by selling your home on the market.
Homeowners who disagree with their property assessment can protest to the County Board of Equalization. If that protest does not produce a satisfactory result, they can then file an appeal with the Nebraska Tax Equalization and Review Commission.
Nebraska Property Tax Rates
The state of Nebraska is prohibited by law from levying property taxes. Thus, the taxes are collected entirely at the local level. Tax authorities such as school districts and city governments levy taxes and apply rates based on their revenue needs. Thus, rates can vary from one neighborhood to the next, depending on what tax districts cover your home.
The table below shows the average effective tax rate for every Nebraska county. Rates are calculated as median annual property tax payment as a percentage of median property value and demonstrate the amount a typical homeowner could expect to pay.
|County||Median Home Value||Median Annual Property Tax Payment||Average Effective Property Tax Rate|
Nebraska’s largest county by population, Douglas County also has some the highest property tax rates. The average effective tax rate in the county is 2.08%, close to double the national average. The single largest recipient of property tax dollars in Douglas County are local school districts, including the Omaha Public School District. Over 50% of the property tax goes to schools in Douglas County.
Located in eastern Nebraska, Lancaster County contains the state capital, Lincoln. Property tax rates in the county are only slightly higher than the state average (1.84% in the county versus 1.83% in the state). However, Lancaster county has some of the highest home values in the state and so the total taxes that residents pay are above average for the state. The median property tax paid in Lancaster County is $2,886. That’s about $400 higher than the state median, and $700 higher than the national median.
Sarpy County is part of the Omaha metropolitan area and has the highest property tax rates of any Nebraska county. The average effective property tax rate in Sarpy County is 2.12%. At that rate, a homeowner with a home worth $200,000 would pay $4,240 annually in property taxes.
This central Nebraska county has an average effective property tax rate of 1.84%, slightly higher than the state average. Effective tax rates also vary across the county from 0.55% up to 3.57%. In Grand Island, the largest city in the county, the effective tax rate is 1.88%.
Buffalo County is the fifth most populous county in Nebraska and sits adjacent to Hall County. The average effective property tax rate in Buffalo County is 1.55%, which ranks in the bottom half of the state. It is also significantly lower than the rate in nearby Hall County.
Scotts Bluff County
Situated along the Wyoming border in western Nebraska, Scotts Bluff County has relatively low property taxes in comparison to the rest of the state. The median annual property tax payment in Scotts Bluff County is just $1,902. That is about $600 less than the state median.
Dodge County is located in eastern Nebraska and is just northwest of Omaha, the largest city in the state. Property tax rates in Dodge County are slightly less than the state average. The majority of property tax revenue in Dodge County goes to school districts.
The average effective property tax rate in Lincoln County is 1.87%. That is slightly more than the state average and is significantly higher than the national average. Annual taxes on a home worth $120,000 (the median home value in the county) would be $2,250.
The ninth most populous county in Nebraska, Madison County has below-average property taxes. A typical homeowner in Madison County pays $1,996 annually in property taxes, more than $500 less than the average homeowner in the state.
Property tax rates in Platte County rank in the bottom half of Nebraska’s 93 counties. The average effective property tax rate in Platte County is 1.52%.
Property Tax: Which Counties are Getting the Best Bang for Their Buck
SmartAsset’s interactive map highlights the places across the country where property tax dollars are being spent most effectively. Zoom between states and the national map to see the counties getting the biggest bang for their property tax buck.
Our study aims to find the places in the United States where people are getting the most for their property tax dollars. To do this we looked at school rankings, crime rates and property taxes for every county.
As a way to measure the quality of schools, we analyzed the math and reading/language arts proficiencies for every school district in the country. We created an average score for each district by looking at the scores for every school in that district, weighting it to account for the number of students in each school. Within each state, we assigned every county a score between 1 and 10 (with 10 being the best) based on the average scores of the districts in each county.
For each county, we calculated the violent and property crimes per 100,000 residents.
Using the school and crime numbers, we calculated a community score. This is the ratio of the school rank to the combined crime rate per 100,000 residents.
We used the number of households, median home value and average property tax rate to calculate a per capita property tax collected for each county.
Finally, we calculated a tax value by creating a ratio of the community score to the per capita property tax paid. This shows us the counties in the country where people are getting the most bang for their buck, or where their property tax dollars are going the furthest.
Sources: US Census Bureau 2017 American Community Survey, Department of Education, Federal Bureau of Investigation, State Police or Justice Department websites