Nebraska Taxation

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Online Resources[edit | edit source]

None at this time.

Why Use Tax Records[edit | edit source]

By studying several consecutive years of tax records you may determine when a young men came of age, when individuals moved in and out of a home, or when they died leaving heirs. Authorities determined wealth (real estate, or income) to be taxed. Taxes can be for polls, real and personal estate, or schools.

Tax record content varies and may include the name and residence of the taxpayer, description of the real estate, name of original purchaser, description of personal property, number of males over 21, number of school children, slaves, and farm animals. Tax records usually are arranged by date and locality and are not normally indexed. Tax records can be used in place of missing land and census records to locate a person’s residence.

How to Use Tax Records for Nebraska[edit | edit source]

County Level[edit | edit source]

County tax records, real and personal, are located in the office of the county treasurer at the county seat. Many tax records are still held at the county level; many taken before 1912 have been sent to the Nebraska State Historical Society. The researcher should contact the archives at the society to learn of its holdings for a particular county before contacting the county.[1]

State Level[edit | edit source]

The Nebraska State Historical Society is continually collecting county records. At present they have tax records for forty-three counties and assessment records for many others, all for various periods of time. [2]

Nebraska State Historical Society
1500 "R" Street
PO Box 82554
Lincoln, NE 68501

Telephone: (402) 471-3270
Tollfree: (800) 833-6747
Fax: (402) 471-3100
Questions for the Reference Room/Library: Email

The Nebraska State Historical Society preserves records from most of Nebraska's ninety-three counties on microfilm or in original paper form. These collections include tax records. For information about these collections, go to Nebraska County Government Records

Tax money bag.jpg

Tax Laws[edit | edit source]

Abraham Lincoln instituted the income tax in 1862, and on July 1, 1862, Congress passed the Internal Revenue Act, creating the Bureau of Internal Revenue (later renamed to the Internal Revenue Service). This act was intended to “provide Internal Revenue to support the Government and to pay interest on the Public Debt.” Instituted in the height of the Civil War, the “Public Debt” at the time primarily consisted of war expenses. For the Southern States that were part of the Confederate side of the Civil War, once Union troops took over parts of the Southern States, income tax were instituted on them. [3]

  • To learn more about this Collection click here
  • To learn more about the Civil War taxes click here

What history has shown us is that while property taxes are locally levied, there is significant state involvement with the amount of tax local political subdivisions can levy, how property assessments are conducted, and what services local taxing subdivisions must provide for their residents. This comes at a cost to state taxpayers, because the state has obligations it must fund as well, with a limited amount of state tax dollars.

References[edit | edit source]