Nebraska State Constitution Article VIII-5

Article VIII-5


County taxes; limitation.

County authorities shall never assess taxes the aggregate of which shall exceed fifty cents per one hundred dollars of taxable value as determined by the assessment rolls, except for the payment of indebtedness existing at the adoption hereof, unless authorized by a vote of the people of the county.


  • Neb. Const. art. IX, sec. 5 (1875);
  • Amended 1920, Constitutional Convention, 1919-1920, No. 28;
  • Transferred by Constitutional Convention, 1919-1920, art. VIII, sec. 5;
  • Amended 1992, Laws 1992, LR 219CA, sec. 1.


1. Levy of taxes

2. Limitation on indebtedness

3. Miscellaneous

1. Levy of taxes

Levy in excess of constitutional limit to pay courthouse bonds required vote of people. State ex rel. Shelley v. Board of County Commissioners, 156 Neb. 583, 57 N.W.2d 129 (1953).

This section is a limitation upon the power of county authorities to tax. Chicago, B. & Q. R. R. Co. v. County of Gosper, 153 Neb. 805, 46 N.W.2d 147 (1951).

Law authorizing tax which, with other taxes, did not exceed constitutional limitation, is not invalid. Cunningham v. Douglas County, 104 Neb. 405, 177 N.W. 742 (1920).

Amount levied in excess of limitation is void. Dakota County v. Chicago, St. Paul, Minn. & Omaha Ry. Co., 63 Neb. 405, 88 N.W. 663 (1902); Chicago, B. & Q. R. R. Co. v. Nemaha County, 50 Neb. 393, 69 N.W. 958 (1897).

This section is not a grant of power but a limitation and operates upon both the county and the Legislature. Grand Island & Wyoming Central R. R. Co. v. County of Dawes, 62 Neb. 44, 86 N.W. 934 (1901).

Taxes levied to pay judgment against the county should be included. Chase County v. Chicago, B. & Q. R. R. Co., 58 Neb. 274, 78 N.W. 502 (1899).

Section means that except for special reasons mentioned, county is without authority to levy a tax in excess of limitation for county purposes. Chicago, B. & Q. R. R. Co. v. Klein, 52 Neb. 258, 71 N.W. 1069 (1897).

Road district tax should be included in ascertaining the maximum tax limit for the county. Dixon County v. Chicago, St. Paul, Minn. & Omaha Ry. Co., 1 Neb. Unof. 240, 95 N.W. 340 (1901).

2. Limitation on indebtedness

Recovery quantum meruit cannot be permitted in an amount in excess of the debt limitation imposed by this section. Warren v. County of Stanton, 147 Neb. 32, 22 N.W.2d 287 (1946).

County authorities are prohibited from issuing warrants in any one year in excess of maximum amount that can be assessed as taxes. Warren v. Stanton County, 145 Neb. 220, 15 N.W.2d 757 (1944).

County cannot be required to expend more for poor relief than it can obtain by taxation under constitutional limitations. State ex rel. Boxberger v. Burns, 132 Neb. 31, 270 N.W. 656 (1937).

Under the prohibition of this section the county cannot issue warrants in excess of limitation. In re House Roll 284, 31 Neb. 505, 48 N.W. 275 (1891).

3. Miscellaneous

Public building commission tax under section 23-2604, R.S.Supp.,1971, is not a county tax. Dwyer v. Omaha-Douglas Public Building Commission, 188 Neb. 30, 195 N.W.2d 236 (1972).

Mother's Pension Act did not violate this section. Rumsey v. Saline County, 102 Neb. 302, 167 N.W. 66 (1918).