ALMA — The Lower Republican Natural Resources District board of directors has approved a reduction in occupation tax for irrigators in the 2017 year. In a unanimous vote, the board reduced the tax rate per irrigated acre from $10 to $9 on Thursday.
“The reduction in occupation tax will save irrigators an estimated $130 per pivot,” said Mike Clements, general manager of the NRD. “Our board of directors is thrilled they’re able to approve lowering the tax rate at this point in time.”
The occupation tax helps pay for the Nebraska Cooperative Platte Republican Enhancement project (NCORPE), which helps with interstate compact compliance by returning more than 19,000 acres of land back to its natural state. The water not used for irrigating farmland is used to increase streamflow in the Republican and Platte basins. After reissuing bonds in 2017 with lower interest rates for the NCORPE project, the board decided to pass the savings back to irrigators.
“We work hard to run a fair and balanced budget,” Clements said. “This might not be a big deal to many people, but to Lower Republican NRD, it’s a huge win as we continue to seek out new ways to save money for our taxpayers where we can.”