Nebraska State Constitution Article VIII-6

Article VIII-6


Local improvements of cities, towns and villages.

The Legislature may vest the corporate authorities of cities, towns and villages, with power to make local improvements, including facilities for providing off-street parking for vehicles, by special assessments or by special taxation of property benefited, and to redetermine and reallocate from time to time the benefits arising from the acquisition of such off-street parking facilities, and the Legislature may vest the corporate authorities of cities and villages with power to levy special assessments for the maintenance, repair and reconstruction of such off-street parking facilities. For all other corporate purposes, all municipal corporations may be vested with authority to assess and collect taxes, but such taxes shall be uniform in respect to persons and property within the jurisdiction of the body imposing the same, except that cities and villages may be empowered by the Legislature to assess and collect separate and additional taxes within off-street parking districts created by and within any city or village on such terms as the Legislature may prescribe.


  • Neb. Const. art. IX, sec. 6 (1875);
  • Transferred by Constitutional Convention, 1919-1920, art. VIII, sec. 6;
  • Amended 1972, Laws 1972, LB 1429, sec. 1.


1. Special assessments

2. Occupation and license taxes

3. Miscellaneous

1. Special assessments

Statute authorizing paving in city of the second class did not violate this section. Elliott v. City of Auburn, 172 Neb. 1, 108 N.W.2d 328 (1961).

Sewerage service charges are not special assessments for a general improvement. Michelson v. City of Grand Island, 154 Neb. 654, 48 N.W.2d 769 (1951).

Paving assessments in excess of present or reasonable prospective benefits are unauthorized. Munsell v. City of Hebron, 117 Neb. 251, 220 N.W. 289 (1928).

This section leaves mode of application of power to make local improvements to be provided for by legislation. Whitla v. Connor, 114 Neb. 526, 208 N.W. 670 (1926).

Act authorizing private individuals to create and fix boundaries for improvement district is void. Elliott v. Wille, 112 Neb. 86, 200 N.W. 347 (1924).

This section by implication limits assessments for local improvements to lots or tracts affected. Brown Real Estate Co. v. Lancaster County, 110 Neb. 665, 194 N.W. 897 (1923).

Sewage disposal plant is for benefit of entire city and statute authorizing cost to be paid by special assessment on property is unconstitutional. Hurd v. Sanitary Sewer Dist. No. 1 of Harvard, 109 Neb. 384, 191 N.W. 438 (1922).

Statute authorizing creation of paving districts by city council without petition of property owners is not unconstitutional. Fitzgerald v. Sattler, 102 Neb. 665, 168 N.W. 599 (1918).

To sustain special assessments, property taxed must lie within the improved district. McCaffrey v. City of Omaha, 91 Neb. 184, 135 N.W. 552 (1912).

The basis of special assessment is that value of property has been correspondingly increased, without which no such assessment can be levied. Schneider v. Plum, 86 Neb. 129, 124 N.W. 1132 (1910).

Constitution here recognizes distinction between assessment for special benefits and taxes for general revenue purposes. Farnham v. City of Lincoln, 75 Neb. 502, 106 N.W. 666 (1906); City of Beatrice v. Brethren Church of Beatrice, 41 Neb. 358, 59 N.W. 932 (1894).

Special assessments may be levied to defray the cost of opening street in city. Parrotte v. City of Omaha, 61 Neb. 96, 84 N.W. 602 (1900).

It is not necessary that property assessed shall be platted. Medland v. Linton, 60 Neb. 249, 82 N.W. 866 (1900).

Right of municipal corporation to levy assessments on property is express power resting alone on constitutional authority. Hurford v. City of Omaha, 4 Neb. 336 (1876).

2. Occupation and license taxes

Gearing license and occupation taxes to the area of occupancy and not weighing other considerations does not offend the requirement that such taxes shall be uniform in respect to persons and property within the jurisdiction of the body imposing the same. Blackledge v. Richards, 194 Neb. 188, 231 N.W.2d 319 (1975).

Occupation tax need not be measured by profits from the business. It must, however, be reasonable. City of Grand Island v. Postal Telegraph Cable Co., 92 Neb. 253, 138 N.W. 169 (1912).

Occupation tax upon gross earnings of a business is authorized by this section. Lincoln Traction Co. v. City of Lincoln, 84 Neb. 327, 121 N.W. 435 (1909).

Legislature may delegate power to municipalities to tax foreign insurance companies. Aachen & Munich Fire Ins. Co. v. City of Omaha, 72 Neb. 518, 101 N.W. 3 (1904).

3. Miscellaneous

Section 1 and this provision provide that the Legislature can empower a city to tax, but article XI authorizes a city with a limitation of powers home rule charter to exercise that power to tax without first waiting for express delegation. Home Builders Assn. v. City of Lincoln, 271 Neb. 353, 711 N.W.2d 871 (2006).

Act establishing Court of Industrial Relations does not violate any constitutional provision and the standards for its guidance are adequate. Orleans Education Assn. v. School Dist. of Orleans, 193 Neb. 675, 229 N.W.2d 172 (1975).

Ad valorem taxes must be uniform in respect to persons within the jurisdiction of the body imposing the tax. Lynch v. Howell, 165 Neb. 525, 86 N.W.2d 364 (1957).

Housing authority created by statute for slum clearance is a governmental subdivision and, as such, is exempt from taxation. Lennox v. Housing Authority of City of Omaha, 137 Neb. 582, 290 N.W. 451 (1940).

Act permitting cities and villages to levy taxes for building of viaducts is valid. Hinman v. Temple, 133 Neb. 268, 274 N.W. 605 (1937).

Statute authorizing levy of tax for university campus extension is for benefit of city and "for corporate purposes." Sinclair v. City of Lincoln, 101 Neb. 163, 162 N.W. 488 (1917).

Power granted includes power to levy tax by counties to pay for drainage improvements. Drainage District No. 1, Richardson County v. Richardson County, 86 Neb. 355, 125 N.W. 796 (1910); Dodge County v. Acom, 61 Neb. 376, 85 N.W. 292 (1901); Darst v. Griffin, 31 Neb. 668, 48 N.W. 819 (1891).

Township is a municipal corporation within meaning of this section. Union Pac. R. R. Co. v. Howard County, 66 Neb. 663, 92 N.W. 579 (1902), reversed on rehearing 66 Neb. 667, 97 N.W. 280 (1903).

The rule of uniformity in municipal taxes is required by this section. State ex rel. Bee Building Co. v. Savage, 65 Neb. 714, 91 N.W. 716 (1902).

Municipal taxes need not be levied or collected in the same manner as state taxes. State ex rel. Prout v. Aitken, 62 Neb. 428, 87 N.W. 153 (1901).

This section authorized Legislature, not to levy tax for municipal purposes, but to authorize municipalities themselves to do so. City of York v. Chicago, B. & Q. R. R. Co., 56 Neb. 572, 76 N.W. 1065 (1898).

City has power to drain property to abate nuisance of stagnant water and assess cost to property, but not without notice to owner. Horbach v. City of Omaha, 54 Neb. 83, 74 N.W. 434 (1898).

Land annexed to municipality is not exempt from taxation for preexisting debts. Gottschalk v. Becher, 32 Neb. 653, 49 N.W. 715 (1891).