County, school administrators to plan for LB644 postcards ahead of time

YORK – The state’s Property Tax Request Act (LB644) was passed by the legislature in 2021 and took effect in 2022. The Act requires postcards to be sent to each parcel owner (in a taxing sub-district) which includes details about proposed increases and location information for a special hearing, if the tax asking goes over 2%.

Last year, there was a major learning curve for all involved because the requirement was brand new and there was some confusion over how the process was to work properly.

Locally, the York, Heartland and Centennial School Districts were required to have such hearings and bright pink postcards were sent to all the patrons in those districts, notifying them of the tax asking going over 2%. The county was responsible for facilitating the postcard process, based on figures and formulas provided to them.

Last year, there were problems with the figures presented on the postcards, which made it appear the increase for individual properties would be much higher than was the reality. For the York School District, as an example, the information was found to be inconsistent and therefore inaccurate. The root of the problem was found to be that the assessor’s office was given different sets of information from the state as to whether or not the bond levies were to be included in the calculations. So when the state sent out the postcards, they provided two sets of information based on different data which created much higher comparisons than what was reality.

What the situation created was confusion for taxpayers and a lot of clarification that had to be done by authorities in the taxing districts.

During committee reports, at the county commissioners’ most recent meeting, York County Commissioner Chairman Randy Obermier said he had a meeting with York Superintendent Mitch Bartholomew, “looking ahead to the potential of the postcard notifications this year, so we can come up with a better plan than how things were done last year. So, sometime in the near future, I think it would be wise for all of us to get together, ahead of time, in anticipation of this happening, to make sure everything is done properly this year and we can avoid those problems.”

 

 

 

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