Proposed budget keeps tax levy flat

Sarpy County

Proposed budget keeps tax levy flat

Date: 
August 07, 2019

Sarpy County’s tax levy will remain the same for the fifth year in a row under the County’s proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2020.
 
The $176 million budget includes investments in infrastructure projects and other services that are essential to continuing the county’s commercial and residential growth. This includes more than $22 million for road projects, $3.7 million for a new jail and $1.25 million for a mental health crisis stabilization center.
 
“There’s no doubt that we have to invest in infrastructure improvements across Sarpy County, and the budget committee has done an amazing job finding the money to do that without adding an extra burden on the Sarpy County taxpayer,” said Sarpy County Board Chair Don Kelly.
 
Sarpy County hasn’t raised its levy since 2002. In fact, the County Board lowered the levy in 2015 to 29.69 cents per $100 of valuation, where it will remain if the proposed budget is approved. At that rate, the County expects to collect $49.8 million in property taxes, which means 72% of the budget comes from other revenue sources.

Under the current levy, the owner of a $200,000 home pays $593.80 in Sarpy County property taxes. That’s roughly $49.50 a month, with which the County provides a 24-hour, 365-day-a-year 911 center; a Sheriff's Department with highly-trained deputies committed to keeping Sarpy County safe; a Public Works Department that plows and maintains thousands of lane miles of roads; the Sarpy County Attorney's Office, which prosecutes offenders; the Sarpy County jail; and other services.
 
“As Commissioners, we’re committed to being watchdogs over the people’s money, which is what the County’s budget is. We set very clear expectations for our officials, which is why this proposal – with the exception of transitional positions for the Corrections Department – doesn’t include any new full-time employees. We want the money spent on services, not adding new people,” Kelly said.
 
A public hearing on the proposed budget will be held Aug. 20.