The 2018 fiscal year budget for the Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District (LENRD) once again calls for a lower tax levy.
The operating budget was approved by the board of directors at their August 24th meeting with a tax request of $4,270,002. The budget of all expenditures shows a 5.52% decrease of $477,863 from last year.
The estimated levy based on the property tax request is 2.327 cents per $100 of valuation, which is a 2.74% decrease from the fiscal year 2017 levy of 2.401 cents per $100 of valuation. For example, if a person owns a $100,000 house, the taxes owed to the LENRD would have been $24.01 in 2017, and will be approximately $23.27 in 2018.
LENRD General Manager, Mike Sousek, said, “It’s becoming more difficult to continue decreasing the tax levy year after year. This is the 6th year in a row for a decrease in property tax asking. This year valuations flat-lined, and our levy asking decreased 2.74%, which is a historic low for the district, the lowest tax levy in 45 years.”
The funds received by the LENRD are returned to the citizens of the district, through projects, programs, and studies across all or parts of 15-counties in northeast Nebraska. Some of these conservation benefits include: water quality and quantity programs such as groundwater management, flood control, and nitrate management; as well as erosion control, cost-share to landowners who apply for conservation practices, recreation areas and trails, urban recreation and community forestry programs, and many other benefits that protect our natural resources.
Sousek, added, “We are working together to create a budget that not only addresses our 12 responsibilities, but that also focuses on improving the quality of life for the citizens across our district. We are doing more with less, by focusing on efficiencies and streamlining processes to protect our natural resources. With multiple flood protection projects coming down the pipeline, I am proud of the budget the board has put together.”
In other business, the board members voted to schedule a public hearing in November to receive public input regarding the proposed integration of the LENRD’s Drought Mitigation Plan into the Groundwater Management Plan. The hearing is the first in a multi-step process, and consideration of the adoption (or modification) of the proposed changes would proceed at a later date. If adopted, the integration of the goals and objectives of the Drought Mitigation Plan into the Groundwater Management Plan, would allow the district to respond to the challenges of an acute drought situation. The hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, November 21st in the Lifelong Learning Center on the campus of Northeast Community College in Norfolk. Sign up for emails and special reminders for all upcoming meetings and events in the upper right hand corner of this website.