General Information

Duties and Qualifications

The County Assessor is an elected official who has the general supervision over and the direction of the assessment of all real and personal property in his or her county as a basis for the County Board to levy taxes. The Assessor must be certified by the Department of Property Assessment and Taxation in order to hold office and obtain the required continuing education hours to be recertified. The duties are prescribed by Nebraska Statutes, Rules and Regulations (Chapter 77), which have the effect of law. The following is a partial list of those duties:

  • Administer the assessment statutes of Nebraska law.
  • Establish and maintain fair and equitable value on all real and personal property within the county.
  • Attend all meetings of the County Board of Equalization.
  • Review all applications for religious, charitable and educational tax exemptions.
  • Maintain cadastral records (i.e., parcel maps) on all property in the county.
  • Prepare abstract of value and certification of taxes levied for State Property Tax Administrator.
  • Prepare annual tax roll for the County Treasurer.
  • The County Assessor must hold and maintain a valid certificate.
  • Attend mandatory workshops.
  • Obtain a minimum of 40 hours of continued education bi-yearly.

The county assessor is responsible for placing a value on all taxable real & personal property in the county with the exception of motor vehicles. The Assessor's Office is also responsible for handling applications for permissive tax exemptions, homestead exemptions and the transfer of mobile home ownership.

General Information Available from this office:

  • Tax district information on a property in Clay County
  • Ownership of a property in Clay County
  • Valuation information on a property in Clay County
  • Valuation of improvements on a property in Clay County
  • Age of a structure in Clay County
  • Size and dimensions of a parcel in Clay County
  • Eligibility information on Homestead Exemptions
  • How to file a property protest in Clay County

How Values Change

  • Fluctuations in the market
  • Outside influences on the property
  • Addition or removal of improvements
  • Remodel or rehabilitation

Property Tax Exemptions

  • Educational facilities
  • Religious facilities
  • Certain seniors or persons with disabilities

How are my taxes calculated?

Tax rates are established as a result of a budgetary process. Each governmental agency provides a budget that will cover the cost of maintaining their respective agency for a fiscal year. The budget requirements are totaled and that amount is divided by the total assessed value of property for that subdivision to establish the tax rate. The tax rate is stated as a percent or amount due for each $100 of assessed value. THE COUNTY ASSESSOR IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ESTABLISHING THE TAX RATE.

What is real property?

Real property includes all lots and land, buildings, fixtures and improvements and mobile homes, which are used for residential, office, commercial, and agricultural purposes.

What is taxable personal property?

Personal property is defined as tangible, depreciable income producing property including machinery and equipment, furniture and fixtures.

Who must file a Nebraska personal property return?

  • Anyone that owns or holds any taxable, tangible personal property on January 1, 12:01 a.m. of each year.
  • Anyone that leases personal property to another person.
  • Anyone that leases personal property from another person.
  • Anyone that brings personal property into Clay County between January 1 at 12:01 a.m. and July 1, must list the property for assessment before July 31, unless it can be shown that the personal property was purchased after January 1 or that it was listed for assessment in another jurisdiction.

What is Greenbelt?

Greenbelt is a scenario whereby qualifying agricultural land may be valued without regard to market influences that cause the value to be inflated to an amount exceeding it's agricultural value. This procedure allows property owners that wish to continue the agri-business nature of their property to do so without the value of their property being inflated by residential or commercial development. If the property loses it's qualifying status, we then go back three tax years and collect the difference in tax between the agricultural value and the development value, plus 6% interest on that difference. If you qualify for greenbelt you must file a form 456 in the Assessor's Office before August 1st.

Can I protest my taxes?

No. You can only protest your valuation.

How do I protest my valuation?

First, contact the assessor's office and have an appraiser explain to you how your value was arrived at. This gives the assessor a chance to correct possible errors and answer your valuation-related questions.

You may file an appeal of your valuation with the county board of equalization during the dates prescribed on your valuation notice. You may appeal your valuation only, not your tax bill.

How do I convince the county board of equalization that my valuation should be lowered?

Present evidence that the assessor has valued your property above it's market value or is not equalized with similar properties in the county.

What if I disagree with the county board's determination?

You may file an appeal to the Tax Equalization and Review Commission.