By Jim Dickerson
While property taxes are universally unpopular, Boone County property owners fared better than most last year in terms of average tax rate, according to statistics from the Nebraska Department of Revenue, Property Assessment Division.
In 2018, Boone County had an average tax rate of slightly more than nine-tenths of one percent, or .9076, which ranked as the fourth lowest average tax rate in Nebraska.
To determine the average tax rate, the total property tax levied within a county for a given year ($21,735,960 for Boone County) is divided by the total valuation ($2,394,881,444 for Boone County).
Boone County has consistently ranked among the lowest average tax rate counties in the state.
Keya Paha was Lowest
For 2018, the county with the lowest average tax rate was Keya Paha County in North Central Nebraska at .75 of one percent. Keya Paha had a total valuation of more than $480 million and total property taxes levied of slightly over $3.6 million.
Second lowest average tax rate county was Wheeler County, a Boone County neighbor, at .88 of one percent. Wheeler had a total valuation of $574,179,976 and total property taxes levied of $5,054,033.
Ranking third for lowest average tax rate was Grant County in west central Nebraska at .9036 of one percent. Grant County had a total valuation of $291.19 million, with total property taxes levied of $2,631,327.
Other counties among the 12 lowest average tax rate counties (all with tax rates below one percent) were:
• Rock County, north central Nebraska, sixth lowest at .9576 of one percent;
• Dundy County, southwest Nebraska, seventh lowest at .9597 of one percent;
• Thayer County, southeast Nebraska, eighth lowest at .9686 of one percent;
• Perkins County, southwest Nebraska, ninth lowest at .9692 of one percent;
• Hooker County, west central Nebraska, 10th lowest at .9776 of one percent;
• Loup County, north central Nebraska, 11th lowest at .9798 of one percent;
• McPherson County, west central Nebraska, 12th lowest at .9798 of one percent.
Counties with the lowest average tax rate tend to be among the state’s most rural counties.
Boone County has the highest population (estimated at 5,352 in 2017) among the 12 counties with the lowest average tax rates. The next largest population county in the bottom 12 for average rates was Thayer County at 5,045 people, while the third largest population county was Perkins County at 2,903 population.
Seven of the 12 lowest average tax rate counties had populations under 1,000.
Read the complete story in the Feb. 6 issue of the Albion News print and e-editions.