County budget keeps tax levy flat

Sarpy County

County budget keeps tax levy flat

September 01, 2020

Sarpy County’s property tax levy will not increase under the approved budget for Fiscal Year 2021.

The Sarpy County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the $178.7 million budget, which positions the County for the future by including key priorities like a new correctional center, numerous roads projects and a county facility expansion. 

“The 2021 budget strikes a balance between addressing our immediate needs and planning for the future. We’re tackling once-in-a-generation projects, and we’re doing it without raising the levy,” said Sarpy County Board Chair Don Kelly. “That doesn’t happen by accident. It takes sound, fiscally conservative planning and a commitment to the financial well-being of the taxpayer.”

The budget includes $18 million for roads and $12.7 million for the correctional center. It also includes funding for body cameras for the Sarpy County Sheriff’s Office, mass appraisal software for the Assessor’s Office and the cost to remove two aging buildings on the courthouse campus to add additional customer parking needed during the construction of the new correctional center.

While the County continues to see healthy growth in property valuations from new development, Sarpy County has prepared for some revenue losses due to COVID-19. For example, the budget assumes reductions in the Highway Allocation Fund, Lodging Taxes and Keno.

“We don’t know how long the pandemic is going to affect us, from a cost and revenue perspective, so the fiscal team built that into the budget and our long-range plan,” said Commissioner Gary Mixan, Vice-Chair of the Sarpy County Board. “We know there will be additional costs associated with the pandemic, and we’ll continue to monitor the situation so we can make adjustments without having to put any additional burden on Sarpy County taxpayers.”

Sarpy County hasn’t raised its levy since 2008. 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 $53.5 million in property taxes, which means approximately 70% of the budget comes from other revenue sources.

A Sarpy County resident who lives in a home valued at $200,000 pays about $594 annually for all County services, including the 911 center, Sheriff’s Office, Public Works and other County departments dedicated to serving residents.

Overview of the FY2021 budget