Scotts Bluff County - Assessor FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions - General

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.

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 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 Scotts Bluff 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.

What is Greenbelt?
Greenbelt is a scenario whereby qualifying agricultural land may be valued without regard to market influences that cause the value to be inflated to an amount exceeding it's agricultural value. This procedure allows property owners that wish to continue the agri-business nature of their property to do so without the value of their property being inflated by residential or commercial development. If you qualify for greenbelt you must file a form 456 in the Assessor's Office before August 1st.

Can I protest my taxes?
No. You can only protest your valuation.

How do I protest my valuation?
First, contact the assessor's office and have an appraiser explain to you how your value was arrived at. This gives the assessor a chance to correct 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 it's 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.

What if my address is incorrect?
When you purchase your property, a 521 Real Estate Transfer Statement accompanies your deed.  Line 19 on the 521 Real Estate Transfer Statement asks for the name and address to which the tax statements should be sent.  We enter this information as your mailing address.  If this address is incorrect or you have moved, you must notify us in wrting of the change.  This notification can be by email, fax, mail, or by visiting our office.

How does the Assessor's Office value my property?
We find replacement cost new less depreciation plus land, we establish market areas, then complete a statistical sales analysis to arrive at a value that is within the acceptable ranges.

What are the acceptable ranges?
For residential and commercial property we must be within 92% to 100% of market value.  For Ag land we must be within 69% to 75% of market value. The expectation is to be as close to 100% or 75% as possible but a range is given to allow the Tax Equalization and Review Commission  to measure statistics and amend if needed.

What is a market neighborhood?
Most people think of a neighborhood as their immediate area.  In mass appraisal, a market neighborhood will consist of a homogeneous area and can include as many as 500 homes.

What is the difference between Fee and Mass Appraisal?
When you get an appraisal done for loan purposes, a Fee appraiser will come to your property and compare it to typically 3 properties that have sold within the last 6 to 12 months in order to find a value.  Mass appraisal requires the development of market areas and the use of all arms length transactions that have occurred within the last 2-3 years.

What is the time frame sales are used to value property?
Residential uses a two year time study, where as Ag and Commercial use a three year sales study.  This study ends/begins June 30th of the preceding year.

Why did I recieve a letter requesting my income information?
Commercial property is often valued using the income approach.  The income approach is used when enough data has been received on a particular type of commercial property.  The information is consolidated to find what the typical number for expenses, ect. is and can be applied to all properties of this type consistently.  Any income information received is used by this office only and is confidential.

How often will the Assessor's Office visit my property?
State law requires us to visit your property no less than every 6 years for review. Your property may also be reviewed for protest, building permits, and sales verification purposes.  If you protest your value every year, we will be required to visit your property every year.

How will I recognize the Assessor's Office in my neighborhood?
The data collectors will be driving County vehicles, wearing name badges with their picture on it, will be wearing a bright green vest with our logo on the back and may be wearing a hat with our logo on it.  Any concerns about whether there is a data collector in your area needs to be directed to this office.

How do I review the information the Assessor's Office has on my property?
You may view this information on the link to Tax Sifter on the previous screen or you may visit the Assessor's Office to review your property record card.