ERIC Number: ED450997
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Digging Deeper into Shallow Pockets. Special Report.
Bailey, Jon; Preston, Kim
A study examined educational property tax burdens in Nebraska counties, using data on property taxes levied, property values, and per capita income. The study found that the average school tax burdens for residents in the lowest third (by per capita income) of Nebraska counties, which were nearly all rural farmers and ranchers, were 88 percent higher than property tax burdens for residents in the top third counties. Recent efforts by the Nebraska Legislature at property tax relief have not related the relief to a household's property tax obligation relative to its income, thus delivering much less relief to those who are truly overburdened by property taxes. Other states have enacted "circuit breaker" statutes that allow income tax credits or property tax rebates when property taxes reach a certain percentage of household income. Recommendations for applying such legislation in Nebraska include providing a strong definition of "income" to prevent the sheltering of income, applying the circuit breaker to both agricultural and residential property, and applying it only to owners/operators of property. It is also recommended that the state's school funding formula incorporate the local capacity of a school system's property owners to pay the taxes and not base funding solely on the taxable property wealth of the system. Three appendices present nine fiscal parameters for each county, groupings of counties by per capita income, property taxes levied by government subdivisions, and sources of school funding in Nebraska. (TD)
Descriptors: Economically Disadvantaged, Educational Equity (Finance), Elementary Secondary Education, Finance Reform, Property Appraisal, Property Taxes, Public Policy, Rural Areas, Rural Farm Residents, School Community Relationship, School Taxes
Center for Rural Affairs, P.O. Box 406, Walthill, NE 68067. Full text at Web site: http://www.cfra.org/digging_deeper.htm.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center for Rural Affairs, Walthill, NE.
Identifiers - Location: Nebraska