Nebraska Revised Statute 17-525

Chapter 17


Occupation tax; power to levy; exceptions.

Cities of the second class and villages shall have power to raise revenue by levying and collecting a license tax on any occupation or business within the limits of the city or village and regulate such occupation or business by ordinance. After March 27, 2014, any occupation tax imposed pursuant to this section shall make a reasonable classification of businesses, users of space, or kinds of transactions for purposes of imposing such tax, except that no occupation tax shall be imposed on any transaction which is subject to tax under section 53-160, 66-489, 66-489.02, 66-4,140, 66-4,145, 66-4,146, 77-2602, or 77-4008 or which is exempt from tax under section 77-2704.24. The occupation tax shall be imposed in the manner provided in section 18-1208, except that section 18-1208 does not apply to an occupation tax subject to section 86-704. All such taxes shall be uniform in respect to the classes upon which they are imposed. All scientific and literary lectures and entertainments shall be exempt from such taxation, as well as concerts and other musical entertainments given exclusively by the citizens of the city or village.



  • 1. Valid ordinance

  • 2. Invalid ordinance

  • 3. Miscellaneous

  • 1. Valid ordinance

  • Penal provision of an occupation tax ordinance which provides for the enforcement and collection of tax by imposition of a fine is valid and enforceable. Western Union Telegraph Co. v. City of Franklin, 93 Neb. 704, 141 N.W. 819 (1913).

  • Village board may levy an occupation tax upon the practice of medicine. Village of Dodge v. Guidinger, 87 Neb. 349, 127 N.W. 122 (1910).

  • Payment of occupation tax under one ordinance did not prevent municipality from requiring a license to transact business of billiard and pool room under another ordinance. McCarter v. City of Lexington, 80 Neb. 714, 115 N.W. 303 (1908).

  • A village may impose a reasonable occupation tax upon telegraph companies doing business within its limits though such tax should be restricted so as not to include interstate or government business. Western Union Telegraph Co. v. Village of Wakefield, 69 Neb. 272, 95 N.W. 659 (1903).

  • Validity of an ordinance can be questioned only by one whose rights are directly affected thereby. Flick v. City of Broken Bow, 67 Neb. 529, 93 N.W. 729 (1903).

  • Village trustees are authorized to raise general revenue by levying and collecting a license tax on persons engaged in the business of conducting billiard and pool rooms. Morgan v. State, 64 Neb. 369, 90 N.W. 108 (1902).

  • A city may impose an occupation tax by ordinance upon a fire insurance company for the purpose of maintenance of a volunteer fire department. German-American Fire Ins. Co. v. City of Minden, 51 Neb. 870, 71 N.W. 995 (1897).

  • Cities of second class and villages are empowered to impose occupation tax on saloons in addition to the collecting of fees for license to sell liquor, but such tax cannot be made a condition precedent to the issuing of such license. State ex rel. Sage v. Bennett, 19 Neb. 191, 26 N.W. 714 (1886).

  • 2. Invalid ordinance

  • Municipalities by ordinance must not make arbitrary classification of business for the purpose of levying occupation tax, and such tax must apply uniformly and not be so high as to be confiscatory. Speier's Laundry Co. v. City of Wilber, 131 Neb. 606, 269 N.W. 119 (1936).

  • Where salesman took orders for future delivery and later delivered such goods which had been shipped in original packages from outside of state, such acts are incident to interstate commerce and such business is not subject to an occupation tax. Purchase v. State of Nebraska, 109 Neb. 457, 191 N.W. 677 (1922).

  • Village board by ordinance could regulate but could not suppress billiard and pool halls. State ex rel. McMonies v. McMonies, 75 Neb. 443, 106 N.W. 454 (1906).

  • 3. Miscellaneous

  • Occupation tax is a civil liability to be collected by levy and sale of property and not by imprisonment. State v. Green, 27 Neb. 64, 42 N.W. 913 (1889).