Taxpayers in the City of Bellevue and many jurisdictions statewide are starting to receive post cards that read "Notice of Proposed Tax Increase" These post cards are part of the new Nebraska Law, Nebraska LB 644, which mandates that our types of local taxing jurisdictions, including counties, cities, school districts, and community colleges create an opportunity for the public to be fully informed of any property tax increase due to increased valuations before they are voted on.
Representatives of the City of Bellevue will be attending the Sarpy County Tax Public Hearing on Thursday, September 22, 2022 at 6:05PM at Papillion-LaVista High School to present the City of Bellevue's property tax request and receive any feedback from the public. Since LB 644 is a new law, the City has been receiving a number of phone calls regarding this hearing and Bellevue Mayor Rusty Hike read a statement at tonight's City Council meeting to help address some of these questions.
Statement from Bellevue Mayor Rusty Hike, September 20, 2022
City of Bellevue property owners have recently received a postcard that read “NOTICE OF PROPOSED TAX INCREASE”.
The postcard shows the 2021 assessed value and the 2022 assessed value along with the respective years’ taxes and the increase. The postcard also identifies the “Hearing” associated with the political subdivision.
The City of Bellevue’s “Hearing” will be this Thursday, September 22nd at 6:05pm at Papillion LaVista South High School along with other taxing jurisdictions of Sarpy County.
The reason for the “Hearing” is that, in an effort to highlight and potentially reduce property taxes, the state legislature passed LB644 that created an “Allowable Growth Percentage Increase” and defined Real Growth increases differently than total assessed increases.
Bellevue has been consistently applying a $0.610000 tax levy rate to total valuation since 2014. That tax levy rate has not increased. Bellevue’s total 2022-23 budget is $109,488,361.04, an increase of only 1.7%. The City of Bellevue was able to hold to only a 1.7% increase despite average inflation rates of 8.3%
Your valuation which is determined by the Sarpy County Assessor, may have increased and, therefore, the taxes you pay may have increased. No argument. If your valuation increased, you are paying more tax in absolute dollars… but not a higher percentage.
Bellevue’s 2022-23 property tax request is $30,290,374.03. The levy tax rate of $0.610000 per $100 of total valuation, is $4.96 billion, which means valuations in Bellevue increased on an average of 8.7%. Unfortunately, property taxes are the only controllable variable from which to cover costs and the City Council has voted to not increase the levy tax rate of $0.61
To be within the LB644 limit, Bellevue’s tax request would need to be reduced by $1.4 million, limiting the request to an increase of 3.74%, Bellevue’s Allowable Growth Percentage Increase.
For 2022-23, personnel costs will be approximately 39% of total expenditures. Personnel costs would need to be the prime consideration for cuts if taxes were reduced.
Bellevue prides itself on strong public safety and that is a large portion of the personnel costs within the city. These costs have already been significantly reduced by over $1.5 million. Additionally, the city has cut capital project requests by $10 million to get to this point. However, the city cannot cut bond payments and it is not advisable to cut sewer or garbage operations for our taxpayers.
I am proud that this Administration has some growth initiatives that should reap benefits in the next year or two and reduce the pressure on property taxes.