Monday – Friday
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Closed Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays
Mary A. Banahan, Assessor, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kylie E. Rohr, Deputy Assessor & Personal Property Clerk,
Jerry A. Zabokrtsky, Real Estate & GIS Clerk,
Jeffrey C. Meyer, Clerk
The mission of the Jefferson County Assessors Office is to provide accurate, fair and equitable tax assessments to all taxpayers of the county and in accordance with current state statutes and regulations.
The County Assessor has the duty to value all real and personal property in Jefferson County in accordance with current state statutes and regulations. The County Assessor must hold a State of Nebraska Assessor's Certificate issued by the Nebraska Property Tax Administrator, and must obtain the necessary credits to maintain this certificate.
The County Assessor is responsible for discovering, listing, and valuing property for tax purposes. Additionally, the Assessor processes personal property schedules, homestead exemption applications, and permissive exemption applications.
The Jefferson County Assessor's Office is dedicated to providing accurate market values for all real property in the County. The office has a staff that are responsible for that goal. We maintain a complete file of sale data on all types of property and each sale is reviewed before it is included in our sale database.
We have established a Geographic Information System, which has improved our cadastral mapping requirements, assists us in the process of establishing market values and the process of equalization. Currently the Geographic Information System is not accessible to the public.
We are also responsible for:
- Maintaining personal property accounts for individuals and companies.
- Administering the Homestead Exemption program.
- Reviewing exemption applications for all religious, charitable, educational, cemetery, agricultural and horticultural societies on real and personal property.
Our staff is dedicated to providing information and assistance to everyone; whether it is by phone, online or a personal office visit. We encourage you to contact our office with valuation questions or assistance for any programs we are responsible for administering.
ASSESSOR PROPERTY CALENDAR
Assessment date for all taxable property.
1st day to file for Homestead Exemption.
Last day to file Personal Property Schedule without penalty.
1st half of Prior Year Real Estate and Personal Property Tax becomes delinquent.
Last day for Assessor to notify property owners of change in property valuation.
June 1 to June 30
Dates that property owner may file a valuation protest with the Jefferson County Board of Equalization.
Last day to file for Homestead Exemption.
Last day to file or amend personal property schedule with a 10% penalty; after this date, all personal property added is subject to a 25% penalty.
2nd half of Prior Year Real Estate and Personal Property Tax becomes delinquent.
Last day for the Jefferson County Board of Equalization to set current tax year rates (levy date).
Current Year Real Estate and Personal Property Tax becomes due and payable.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
To remain eligible for the homestead exemption, you must file a completed Nebraska Homestead Exemption Application or Certification of Status, Form 458 and Form 458-I Income Statement, with your county assessor. These forms must be filed ANNUALLY after February 1, and by June 30 or you will not be eligible for a homestead exemption for the assessment year.
Taxpayers who are 65 years or older by January 1st, have certain disabilities, or disabled Veterans of specified foreign wars may qualify for homestead exemptions. The taxpayer must OWN and OCCUPY the residence as well as meet certain income requirements (which are calculated according to the taxpayer's adjusted gross income). The income requirements may change yearly.
What is a homestead exemption?
A homestead exemption provides relief from property taxes by exempting all or a portion of the valuation of the homestead from taxation. The state of Nebraska reimburses the counties and other governmental subdivisions for the taxes lost due to homestead exemptions.
Who can file for a homestead exemption?
The Nebraska homestead exemption program is a property tax relief program for seven categories of homeowners:
- Persons over age 65;
- Veterans totally disabled by a nonservice-connected accident or illness;
- Qualified disabled individuals;
- Qualified totally disabled veterans and their widow(er)s;
- Veterans whose home was substantially contributed to by the Department of Veterans Affairs and their widow(er)s;
- Unremarried widow(er)s of a service member who died on active duty; or
- Individuals who have a developmental disability.
What would disqualify me for my homestead?
- If the home is valued over 200% of the County’s average assessed value of single family residential property.
- If my income is over the amount allowed.
- If I sell or leave my home before August 15th.
Property owned by religious, educational, charitable and cemetery organizations (or organizations organized and operated exclusively for the benefit of religious, educational, charitable and cemetery organizations, may obtain an exemption from property taxes in Nebraska, in whole or in part. There is a five-part test that must be met for the property to qualify. The test is:
- The property must be owned by a religious, educational, charitable or cemetery organization;
- The property must be used exclusively for religious, educational, charitable or cemetery purposes;
- The property may not be used for gain or profit for the owner or the user;
- The property may not be used for the sale of alcoholic liquor for more than 20 hours a week; and
- The property may not be owned or used by an organization which discriminates in membership or employment based on race, color, or national origin.
All five parts of the test must be met for property to qualify for tax exemption in Nebraska. An organization simply holding a tax exempt certificate from the Internal Revenue Service does not qualify property owned by the organization in Nebraska for a property tax exemption.
It is possible for real property to be partially exempt and partially taxable if, for example, segregable portions of the property qualify by meeting the five-part test and other portions of the property do not. In such cases, the non-exempt portion of the property will be valued and taxed.
Permissive exemptions require an annual application with the County Assessor. In the first year for which an exemption is sought and subsequent years divisible by four, the organization seeking the exemption must file a Form 451 and accompany it with the Questionnaire in which the Assessor’s Office asks a number of questions about the use of the property for which the exemption is sought. In the years in which the Form 451 is not required, the organization must file a Form 451A with the Assessor’s Office. Regardless of which form is required, the applications must be filed with the Assessor’s Office on or before December 31 of the year prior to the year for which the exemption is sought. For example, if an organization wishes to be exempt in 2022, the filing deadline is December 31, 2021.
If a charitable, educational, religious or cemetery organization obtains property or converts it to an exempt use after January 1 and on or before July 1, the property could still qualify for exemption for that tax year. The organization must file the Form 451, along with the Questionnaire, with the Assessor’s Office on or before July 1.
After receiving an application, the Assessor’s Office will review the application and make a recommendation to grant or deny the application. Ultimately, it is the County Board of Equalization that determines whether to grant or deny the application.
What is taxable personal property?
Personal property is defined as tangible, depreciable income producing property including machinery and equipment, furniture and fixtures.
Who must file a Nebraska personal property return?
- Anyone that owns or holds any taxable, tangible personal property on January 1, 12:01 a.m. of each year.
- Anyone that leases personal property to another person.
- Anyone that leases personal property from another person.
- Anyone that brings personal property into Jefferson County between January 1 at 12:01 a.m. and July 1, must list the property for assessment before July 31, unless it can be shown that the personal property was purchased after January 1 or that it was listed for assessment in another jurisdiction.
If I pay sales tax do I still have to pay Personal Property Tax?
Yes. There is a common misconception that you may choose to pay either the sales tax or property tax…this is not true.
When do I need to file my return?
The schedule must be signed every year between January 1st and May 1st reporting what is owned as of January 1st. If a schedule is not filed by May 1st a 10% penalty will be added to the tax bill. If a schedule is not signed by August 1, a schedule will be prepared by our office for you and a 25% penalty will be added to the tax bill.
What information do I need for a Personal Property Return?
Information on a schedule includes: Name, Mailing Address, Physical Address, Description of Property, Year Property is Purchased, Number of Units Purchased, Years Depreciated, and Taxable Value. Years depreciated depends on the type of equipment. The filer's Federal Income Tax depreciation worksheet is requested along with the schedule.
What is real property?
Real property includes all lots and land, buildings, fixtures and improvements, and mobile homes, which are used for residential, office, commercial, and agricultural purposes.
What kind of improvements should be reported to the Assessor’s Office?
ALL improvements to real property are to be reported to the County Assessor’s Office.
Are the Assessed Values available online?
Yes, the Assessed Values are available online through the Nebraska Assessor’s online websites. You may also call the Assessor’s office 402-729-6833 or stop in and review the records. All records are public.
How is the assessed value determined?
The State of Nebraska requires that we value all residential, (including farm improvements also), recreational and commercial properties at 100% of market value. The acceptable range is 92% to 100%. State law requires the property be valued according to past sales that have occurred over a 2 year period for residential and recreational and a 3 year period for commercial properties.
Agricultural land is to be valued at 75% of market value. State law requires a study of past sales that occurred over a 3 year period for agricultural land. The acceptable range of value is 69% to 75%.
How are my taxes calculated?
Tax rates are established as a result of a budgetary process. Each governmental agency provides a budget that will cover the cost of maintaining their respective agency for a fiscal year. The budget requirements are totaled and that amount is divided by the total assessed value of property for that subdivision to establish the tax rate. The tax rate is stated as a percent or amount due for each $100 of assessed value. THE COUNTY ASSESSOR IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ESTABLISHING THE TAX RATE. The assessed value determines your proportion of the requested budgets.
Does the Assessor’s office have records of boundary lines?
The Assessor’s office maintains property records that consist of legal descriptions that are displayed within the Cadastral Books. Actual boundary lines for properties may require a Surveyor’s assistance. Currently our GIS (Geographic Information System) information is not accessible online. Contact our office for GIS information.
RECORDS & PROPERTY SEARCHES
Access to sale history, data sheets, Treasurer’s information, photos and sketches about any parcel of land in Jefferson County.
How do I protest my valuation?
First, contact the assessor’s office and they can explain how your property was valued. This also gives the assessor a chance to verify your records for possible errors and answer your valuation-related questions.
You may file an appeal of your valuation with the County Board of Equalization during the dates prescribed on your valuation notice. You may appeal your valuation only, not your tax bill.
How do I convince the County Board of Equalization that my valuation should be lowered?
Present evidence that the assessor has valued your property above its market value or is not equalized with similar properties in the county.
What if I disagree with the County Board’s determination?
You may file an appeal to the Tax Equalization and Review Commission.
Can I protest my taxes?
No. You can only protest your valuation.
Nebraska State Statutes provide that an Improvement Information Statement must be filed with the county assessor on or before December 31 of the year during which construction, repair, alteration or improvement occurs. This statement is required if a building (zoning) permit is not required and if construction, repair, alteration or improvement totals $2,500 or more
Jefferson County has implemented countywide zoning. Changes to properties, including constructions, parcel division or parcel combining must fulfill permit requirements and same are available at the Zoning and Planning Office.
Properties within a city, town or village zoning limit may have separate requirements.