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Upper Republican NRD keeps occupation tax at $10 level PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Thursday, 18 September 2014 20:16

By Russ Pankonin

The Imperial Republican

Owners of irrigated land in the Upper Republican Natural Resources District will continue to pay a $10-per-irrigated-acre occupation tax for the new budget year.

The URNRD board approved the occupation tax request, along with their tax request for the 2014-15 budget.

Their property tax request of $2,055,350 represents an increase of 2 percent over last year’s request.

Irrigated land owners can expect to pay an occupation tax going forward. The $4.5 million in occupation tax revenues enables the URNRD to pay for their share of the bonds sold for the augmentation projects.

Due to the increase in valuation across the district, the tax levy will drop from $0.085 to $0.065.

The NRD is limited to a levy of $0.085.

Kansas to tour N-CORPE

Officials from the Kansas water resources and planning departments and the Department of Agriculture are coming to Nebraska next week to tour the Lincoln County augmentation project.

URNRD Manager Jasper Fanning said Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado sat down together recently for compact discussions.

One of the issues under discussion is the amount of credit Nebraska and Colorado should receive for their augmentation projects.

In non-binding arbitration, the arbiter ruled that Nebraska was entitled to full credit. Presently, 69 percent of the pumping from the Rock Creek project and 54 percent from the Lincoln County project count towards compliance.

Presently, Nebraska is storing water necessary to meet compliance in Harlan County Dam.

For Nebraska to receive credit, that water must pass over the state line.

Fanning said Kansas wants to continue storing the water in Harlan rather than having it released at a time it can’t be used.

He said Nebraska believes they are in position to be in full compliance. Plus, the state has arbiter’s rulings on augmentation credits in their favor.

The question remains whether the states can come together on an agreement, Fanning said. The fact that the states are talking represents a step forward, he added.