Pink postcards notify property owners of hearings

Friday, September 16, 2022
Red Willow County

McCOOK, Neb. — Pink postcards have started showing up in the mailboxes of property owners in McCook and Red Willow County.

The postcards, the result of the Property Tax Request Act passed by the Nebraska State Legislature in 2021, notify McCook area property owners how the proposed budgets from local political taxing governments will affect the amount of property taxes they’ll pay.

The law requires that political subdivisions that want more than a 2% increase in property tax collections for their 2023 budgets must give a brief presentation of their budgets at a public hearing. After the presentation, there will be time for the public to speak.

For those residing inside McCook, the postcard lists hearings for McCook Public Schools on Monday, Sept. 19, at 6 p.m. at the junior high conference room and for Mid-Plains Community College, on Sept. 27 at 6 p.m. but at the McKinley Education Center, 301 West F St. North Platte.

State Sen. Ben Hansen of Blair, Neb., who introduced the bill that led to the new law, has said in the past that it will keep local elected officials in check by making them accountable for decisions.

While local officials often tout budgets that keep property tax levies flat or that have lower levies, what isn’t always clear is that taxpayers may end up having a higher total bill because of valuation increases, he said.

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