But one local government — the city — has a property-tax-lowering tool the state won’t give to schools, counties and the like.
It’s fueled not only by residents but also by visitors.
It’s local sales taxes.
When local governments prepare their annual budgets (which they’ll soon do again), they first account for all their other sources of money — fees, state aid, etc.
Whatever those don’t cover is what they seek in property taxes.
By design, property taxes are the tax of last resort. Not the first.
Yes, lower spending lowers property-tax burdens. But because North Platte has a city sales tax, that means it has one extra source of funds to reduce its property-tax needs.
It’s a big one. In fact, it’s the biggest: It covers 25.2% of the city’s current budget.
Sixty percent comes from a variety of other sources. Combine that with sales taxes and note well: Eighty-five percent of North Platte’s city budget is not funded by property taxes.
Only 14.2% of the city’s revenue comes from property taxes. But more than one-fifth — 21.4% — of your total 2020 property tax bill goes to city government.