AGO Opinion 98036
Tax Levy Authority of Political Subdivisions for Funding Interlocal Cooperation Agreement Programs
DATE: August 7, 1998
SUBJECT: Tax Levy Authority of Political Subdivisions for Funding Interlocal Cooperation Agreement Programs
REQUESTED BY: Deborah R. Gilg, Keith County Attorney
WRITTEN BY: Don Stenberg, Attorney General
Fredrick F. Neid, Assistant Attorney General
This is in response to your request for an opinion of the
Attorney General relating to a matter of revenue and budgeting.
The specific question you ask is whether two political
subdivisions, a county and a city, may both "use the cost of an
interlocal program or service under the $.05 percent exclusion"
provided by LB 1114 (Laws 1996). By way of background, you relate
that the city of Ogallala and the county of Keith share the cost of
a criminal investigator and that the official is a county employee
for administrative purposes.
It is our opinion that the city and the county are authorized
to levy up to five cents per one hundred dollars of taxable value
of property subject to levy by the city and the county for
financing the costs of the interlocal agreement program. For
purposes of responding to your inquiry, we have assumed that the
mutual arrangement you describe has been formalized in an agreement
pursuant to the provisions of the Interlocal Cooperation Act, Neb.
Rev. Stat. §§ 13-801 to 13-827 (1997).
The provisions of section one of LB 1114 (codified at Neb.
Rev. Stat. § 77-3442 (Supp. 1997)) expressly authorize a five cents
levy by cities and counties for each one hundred dollars of
assessed valuation of property to provide financing for their share
of revenue required by an interlocal cooperation agreement. While
both cities and counties have levy authority for funding interlocal
programs, statutory provisions differ for cities. Cities are
authorized to levy five cents in addition to their forty-five cents
levy authority per one hundred dollars of taxable valuation of
property. On the other hand, counties are authorized to use five
cents of their fifty cents levy for funding of interlocal programs.
Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-3442 (Supp. 1997) in particular part
(6) Incorporated cities and villages may levy a maximum levy
of forty-five cents per one hundred dollars of taxable
valuation of property subject to the levy plus an additional
five cents per one hundred dollars of taxable valuation to
provide financing for the municipality's share of revenue
required under an agreement executed pursuant to the
Interlocal Cooperation Act.
(8) Counties may levy or authorize a maximum levy of fifty
cents per one hundred dollars of taxable valuation of property
subject to the levy, except that five cents per one hundred
dollars of taxable valuation of property subject to the levy
may only be levied to provide financing for the county's share
of revenue required under an agreement executed pursuant to
the Interlocal Cooperation Act. The county may allocate up to
fifteen cents of its authority to all other political
subdivisions not specifically covered in this section to levy
taxes as authorized by law which do not collectively exceed
fifteen cents per one hundred dollars of taxable valuation on
any parcel or item of taxable property. The county may
allocate to one or more other political subdivisions subject
to allocation of property tax authority by the county under
subsection (1) of section 77-3443 some or all of the county's
five cents per one hundred dollars of valuation authorized for
support of an interlocal agreement to be levied by the
political subdivision for the purpose of supporting that
political subdivision's share of revenue required under an
agreement executed pursuant to the Interlocal Cooperation Act.
We believe the statutory language is clear and unambiguous.
In construing statutes, we must determine and give effect to the
purpose and intent of the legislature as ascertained from the
entire language of the statute considered in its plain, ordinary
and popular sense, whenever it is possible to do so. SID No. 57 v.
City of Elkhorn, 248 Neb. 486, 636 N.W.2d 56 (1995); George Rose &
Sons v. Nebraska Dept. of Revenue, 248 Neb. 92, 532 N.W.2d 18
(1995). And, where there is direct and unambiguous language used
in the statute, no interpretation is necessary or will be indulged
to ascertain their meaning. Nebraska Life & Health Ins. Guar.
Ass'n v. Dobias, 247 Neb. 900, 531 N.W.2d 217 (1995).
Further, we do not believe that the fact that the officer is
a county employee affects the ability of the city to include its
share of the cost within its five cents levy authority for
interlocal programs. It would seem that the mutual cost sharing of
the city and the county for providing the service would be
evidenced in the interlocal cooperation agreement entered into by
the city and the county. For these reasons, it is our conclusion
that both the city and the county are authorized to levy five cents
per one hundred dollars of taxable valuation of property for
funding their respective shares of costs required by the interlocal
Fredrick F. Neid
Assistant Attorney General