Briese, 041819 NEAGO, AGO 19-5

Docket Nº:AGO 19-5
Case Date:April 18, 2019
Senator Tom Briese
AGO 19-5
No. 19-005
Nebraska Attorney General Opinion
April 18, 2019
         SUBJECT: Constitutionality of LB 183 as amended - Taxation of Agricultural and Horticultural Land at Fifty Percent of Actual Value for School District Bond Purposes.          REQUESTED BY: Senator Tom Briese Nebraska Legislature          WRITTEN BY Douglas J. Peterson, Attorney General, L. Jay Bartel, Assistant Attorney General          INTRODUCTION          LB 183, as amended by AM158 and AM517, proposes to amend the statutes governing valuation of property for taxation to provide that, for purposes of school district taxes levied to pay principal and interest on bonds, agricultural and horticultural land and land receiving special valuation will be valued at fifty percent of its actual value. The bill would also amend the acceptable range for agricultural and horticultural land and land receiving special valuation to forty-four to fifty percent of actual value for school district taxes levied to pay the principal and interest on bonds. These provisions would apply only to school district bonds issued on or after the operative date of the act.          Your request does not articulate a specific constitutional issue to be addressed, or identify any particular constitutional provision the bill may contravene. As it pertains to the valuation of agricultural and horticultural land for property tax purposes, we will limit our consideration to whether the bill, as amended, may violate the uniformity requirements in Neb. Const, art. VIII, §1.          ANALYSIS          Neb. Const, art. VIII, § 1, provides, in part:
Notwithstanding Article I, section 16, Article III, § 18, or Article VIII, § 4, of this Constitution or any other provision of the Constitution to the contrary: (1) Taxes shall be levied by valuation uniformly and proportionately upon all real property and franchises as defined by the Legislature except as otherwise provided in or permitted by this Constitution; . ..
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(4) the Legislature may provide that agricultural land and horticultural land, as defined by the Legislature, shall constitute a separate and distinct class of property for purposes of taxation and may provide for a different method of taxing agricultural land and horticultural land which results in values that are not uniform and proportionate with all other real property and franchises but which results in values that are uniform and proportionate upon all property within the class of agricultural and horticultural

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