Owners of nonirrigated land to receive tax refunds

Landowners along the Republican River are eligible for occupation tax refunds under a bill passed by the Legislature April 11.

Currently, natural resource districts with integrated management plans can levy occupation taxes on irrigated lands. Owners of nonirrigated land can have their land certified as nonirrigated by March 1 each year to receive an exemption from the tax.

LB1125, introduced by Imperial Sen. Mark Christensen, allows landowners with nonirrigated land to receive a refund of incorrectly levied taxes.

Under the bill, any acre that is enrolled in a local, state or federal temporary irrigation retirement program that prohibits the application of irrigation water is exempt from the occupation tax levied during that year.

Any landowner that has been incorrectly taxed may present evidence to the natural resource district of nonirrigation within 12 months after the tax has been levied. If the occupation tax has been levied and paid within the previous year, the landowner is not eligible for an exemption.

The tax refund has a sunset date of Oct 1, 2012.

Senators passed the bill on a 49-0 vote.

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