Douglas County Board opposed to legislation ending inheritance tax

Jan 24, 2012

Douglas County Commissioners say taxpayers could be forced to pay more if the state of Nebraska does away with its inheritance tax.

During his State of the State address, Governor Dave Heineman told lawmakers he wants the inheritance tax to end. The inheritance tax is based upon the fair market value of a property at the time of a person’s death. The amount of tax paid varies depending on the relationship between the deceased and the person who inherits the property.

In Douglas County, only one-percent of residents are subject to the tax. But it generates $7 million to $9 million dollars a year in tax revenue for the county. Marc Kraft,  chairman of the Board of Commissioners, says the county will have to raise property taxes if lawmakers repeal the inheritance tax. “The county would be looking at about an 11 percent increase in our property tax base, right now it’s 26.459 per 100 dollars of valuation and it would be a two to three cent increase.”

Kraft says Douglas County uses the inheritance tax revenue to pay for essential services. In fiscal year 2010-11, Douglas County had 945 estates subject to the tax.

The inheritance tax legislation is sponsored in the Unicameral by Senator Abbie Cornett.

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