Homestead exemption changes approved

Lawmakers gave final approval April 18 to a bill modifying Nebraska’s homestead exemption program.

Sen. Jen Day
Sen. Jen Day

LB126, introduced by Omaha Sen. Jen Day, allows current homestead exemption recipients to remain eligible for an exemption if a valuation increase pushes the value of their homestead above the allowed maximum.

For homesteads valued at or above the maximum value, the exempt amount will not be reduced and the homestead will remain eligible for an exemption for the current year if it received an exemption in the previous year, was valued below the maximum value in the previous year and is not ineligible for an exemption for any reason other than exceeding the maximum value by at least $20,000.

The exception does not apply if the valuation increase is due to improvements to the homestead.

The bill also updates the definition of “occupy” under the homestead exemption program. Under LB126, a departure from a property for health or legal reasons does not disqualify an owner from receiving an exemption so long as they demonstrate an intention to return to the property.

Finally, LB126 requires county assessors or county clerks to correct the assessment and tax rolls after a final order of an applicable administrative body or court.

Senators voted 49-0 to pass the bill.

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