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AGO Opinion 98036

Tax Levy Authority of Political Subdivisions for Funding Interlocal Cooperation Agreement Programs
Opinion 98036

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

states:




(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.




(Emphasis added.)




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

cooperation agreement.


Sincerely,




DON STENBERG

Attorney General






Fredrick F. Neid

Assistant Attorney General