Small Towns News

NE Property Tax Question Looms Ahead of 2018 Session

With the state unicameral legislature out of session until 2018, policy advocates are using the downtime to drum up conversations about imbalances in the state's tax system, particularly agricultural property taxes. 

Jordan Rasmussen, a policy associate with the Center for Rural Affairs, says shifts in land values resulted in an annual property tax increase of about 11 percent on agricultural land from 2005 to 2014. 

From the desk of the executive director: Farm bill renewal is in sight

Congress is in the process of writing another farm bill. Political distractions are running high in Washington. But distracted or not – the current farm bill expires in September 2018. 

If Congress fails to act, key farm bill initiatives that support beginning farmers, local and regional market development, and rural small businesses will come to a screeching halt. An opportunity to reform federal crop insurance and improve conservation programs also hangs in the balance. 

Our policy platform for the new farm bill stands around three pillars. 

Let’s accurately frame Nebraska’s property tax challenge

Property tax relief and adequate funding for schools and local governments was the topic of a recent community conversation in Nebraska City, hosted by the Center for Rural Affairs. Community leaders and Otoe County residents gathered to discuss property tax challenges facing agricultural land and residential property owners and the radiating impact on schools and local governments.

Preserving life for the next generation - a guide to barn restoration

Barns. They stand proudly against blue skies along the interstate, a highway, or even a lonely gravel road. Some are the centerpiece of a family farm, often as big or bigger than the old farmhouse near it. Others are modest in size, standing alone in the middle of a field, surrounded by crops, or are shadowed figures hidden by decades of overgrowth on long-abandoned homesteads.

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