County Board of Supervisors Talks Taxes on Tuesday

BROKEN BOW – The Custer County Board of Supervisors called their first September meeting to order on Tuesday, the 13 at 9 a.m. All members save Supervisor Stunkel were present.

The meeting was divided into two parts: the morning portion wherein familiar business took place, and the afternoon section, which held a public budget hearing and three resolutions ratifying the county’s expenditures for the year.

The Board of Equalizations’ permissive exemptions dominated the morning conversation, in particular the question as to whether or not the City of Broken Bow’s RV park should remain a tax-exempt entity, given its tendency to undercharge for its services when compared with parks elsewhere in Custer County.

Concern from constituents prompted the issue, which District Three’s Barry Fox illustrated to the board in an example so succinct it might well have been cribbed from an economics textbook.

“If we could only sell a thousand tons of hay in the county, and we were already producing a thousand tons, and the city came in and said ‘I’m going to start producing a thousand tons,’ how would you feel about it?”

Fox pointed to the incongruity between the RV park’s purpose in reality as opposed to the Nebraska Department of Revenue’s legal definition of public purpose for tax exemption, which generally does not include the leasing of property to private parties.

“To me, the Public Housing Authority’s public purpose is to provide housing. The RV park, I don’t see the public purpose part of this.”

The city’s RV park was ultimately made taxable, though will be given the opportunity to protest the decision.

The Indirect Cost Allocation Plan was renewed for this year through 2024; WJE Consulting will continue to handle the contract. The road study for Road 47 was accepted as per Resolution #38R-2022, and the hearing date was set for October 11 at 10 a.m.

New management was approved for the Broken Bow Golf Club; because the club itself is governed by a body, and it owns a liquor license, it must submit all managerial changes to the Board of Supervisors.

Certification of distress warrants was presented; to date 49 had been issued, 8 returned as “uncollectable,” and 3 remained unpaid.

The afternoon saw an approval of the year’s tax budget of $7,371,110.10; property taxes would see a 2% increase in the coming year, and the tax levy would go up from .209046 in 2021 to .211738. Resolutions 35-37 were approved unanimously, which dealt respectively with the adoption of the county’s budget, the final setting of the year’s tax request, and the authorization of petty cash funds for various departments.

The Board of Supervisor’s next meeting is scheduled for September 27 at 9 a.m. and will be open to the public.