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February 22, 2013                                                          www.nacone.org 
 NACO E-Line Archive 

Upcoming Events

NACo's 2013 Legislative Conference

 

March 2-6, 2013

Washington Hilton,

Washington D.C.

 

Southeast District County Officials Meeting

March 14, 2013

Mahoney Park, Interstate 80

 

 

Northeast District County Officials Meeting

March 15, 2013

Lifelong Learning Center,

Norfolk, NE

 

Central District County Officials Meeting

 

March 21, 2013

Hastings Hotel,

Hastings, NE

 

Panhandle District County Officials Meeting

 

March 27, 2013

Community Center,

Bridgeport, NE

 

West Central District County Officials Meeting

 

March 28, 2013

Grey Goose Lodge,

 

Ogallala, NE

 

Nebraska Weed Control Superintendents' Spring Training

April 2-3, 2013

Central Community College,

 

Hastings, NE

 

NACO's Counties' Legislative Day

 

April 18, 2013

State Capitol

Lincoln, NE

 

 

 

 

To view all upcoming events click here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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AssocMembersAssociate and Sustaining Members

NACO Associate and Sustaining Members enable NACO to enhance its continuing education programs for county officials across the state. Visit NACO's complete associate and sustaining membership list here.

 

EducationFoundationEducation Foundation Memorial Program

A gift to NACO's Education Foundation ensures that the children of county officials and county employees are eligible to apply for scholarships to continue their education at Nebraska's higher learning institutions. Whatever their passion - history, art, music, science, education, sports - the NACO Education Foundation will provide them an opportunity to fund their education beyond the K-12 level. Memorial gifts to NACO's Education Foundation are tax deductible and will be a lasting legacy in honor of your loved one's commitment to educating the children of Nebraska's county officials and employees. For more information about how to make a memorial gift, please contact Larry Dix  / 402-434-5660 ext. 226.

In This Issue

NACO Scholarship Application Due March 1, 2013

National Association of Counties to Hold 2013 Legislative Conference in Washington

Mark Your Calendar For NACO's Counties' Legislative Day

April is National County Government Month

County Government Day PowerPoint Available

Legal Line

NACo To Offer First National Cyber Symposium

Updated Edition of Records Retention Schedule 24 Now Available

County Directories Now Available

2012 County Board Handbook and Revisions Now Available

Legal Calendar

County Classifieds

Associate & Sustaining Members

NACO Education Foundation Memorial Program

 

NACO_ScholarshipNACO Scholarship Application Due March 1, 2013
Nebraska high school seniors who are the children, stepchildren, or under the legal guardianship of county officials or employees are encouraged to apply for one of twelve $1,000.00 NACO scholarships. Additional information and the downloadable application can be found under the 'Services' tab on the NACO website. The scholarship application deadline is March 1, 2013. To access the application, click here.
NACo_Legislative_ConferenceNational Association of Counties to Hold 2013 Legislative Conference in Washington

NACo's Legislative Conference is the perfect time to get empowered and engaged! While getting educated about current issues affecting your daily lives you also have incredible opportunity for outreach to the administration and federal agencies. NACo has adjusted the 2013 schedule to incorporate more time to advocate for county government!

 

On Monday, March 4, attendees will hear from featured speaker Bob Woodward, associate editor of The Washington Post. His most recent book, The Price of Politics (September, 2012), is based on 18 months of reporting and is an intimate, documented examination of how President Obama and the highest profile Republican and Democratic leaders in the United States Congress attempted to restore the American economy.

 

Go to the NACo Legislative Conference web page for all the information you need to view the schedule and register by clicking here!

counties_legislative_dayMark Your Calendar For NACO's Counties' Legislative Day
Capitol_BuildingMake plans now to attend NACO's Counties' Legislative day on April 18. County officials will have an opportunity to view the Legislature while in session as well as meet with state senators. A luncheon will be served at the Cornhusker Marriott hotel and all senators will be invited to attend. This is a great opportunity to discuss issues affecting county government with your senator. To view a tentative program click here. There is no fee to attend, however, registration is required. To register, click here.
NCGMApril is National County Government Month
NCGM_2013Smart Justice: Creating Safer Communities is this year's theme for National County Government Month in April. Additional information and a booklet full of ideas to celebrate NCGM is available on the NACo National County Government Month webpage. Counties are encouraged to participate in NCGM by hosting a variety of community outreach events and activities. These include tours of county facilities, distribution of information about county programs and services, sponsoring student essay contests, meeting with business and community leaders, and adoption of resolutions. NACo will again present valuable awards to six counties for their outstanding NCGM activities. For information contact Jim Phillips, jphillipps@naco.org or 202-942-4220.
CountygovernementdaycdCounty Government Day PowerPoint Available
The PowerPoint presentation is now available electronically at no charge (sent via e-mail) for use by Counties during their annual County Government Day. The PowerPoint provides a comprehensive look at county government functions in the State of Nebraska and can be customized by each county. CD's are also available for $10.00 each to cover processing, shipping and handling. To request the County Government Day PowerPoint electronically, please e-mail your request to larrydix@nacone.org. The order form is available here.
Legal_Line_2_22_2013Legal Line
 Editor's Note: Legal Line is a feature that will periodically appear in NACO E-Line. This edition has been prepared by Elaine Menzel of the NACO legal staff. Legal Line is not intended to serve as legal advice. Rather, it is published to alert readers to court decisions and legal or advisory matters important to county government. For a specific opinion on how the information contained in this article or that which will be discussed in future issues relates to your county, consult your county attorney or personal counsel.
 
Supreme Court Determines Two Taxation Cases

Kaapa Ethanol v. Board of Supervisors
In Kaapa Ethanol v. Board of Supervisors, 285 Neb. 112, ___ N.W.2d ___ (2013), the Court evaluated a claim for a refund for a portion of taxes paid by Kappa.  The company's assertion was that the taxes were paid as the result of an "honest mistake or misunderstanding."  The county board denied the request for a refund; however, when considered by the district court, it ordered the county to refund over $480,000 to Kaapa.  Following the decision, the county board then appealed to the Supreme Court and it reversed the lower court's decision.
  
In the decision, the Court provided an overview of the background of Nebraska Property Tax Law and the process used during a tax year for personal and real property.  The basis of this case was a result of Kaapa contending that they paid taxes for processing equipment under both the real property and personal property provisions during tax year 2006.  Kaapa asserted that they had paid the 2006 personal property taxes for processing equipment as the result of an "honest mistake or misunderstanding" therefore, they were eligible for a refund of the taxes paid under Neb. Rev. Stat. 77-1734.01.
  
After reviewing common-law rules that provide that taxes voluntarily paid cannot be recovered and its purpose of providing stability to taxing authorities in conducting their affairs, the Court considered whether Kappa's tax payment was a mistake of law or fact.  Ultimately, the Court determined that the mistake was one of law and then it analyzed whether the statute referenced was a codification of the common-law rule or whether the statute altered it.  The Court specifically analyzed the impact of the phrase "clerical error or honest mistake" in terms of whether it relates to mistakes of law or fact.  The Court held that the phrase applies to mistakes of fact rather than law.  The Court indicated that the term "misunderstanding" within the statute was less clear; however, absent a plain indication that they intended to expand the common-law rule, the Court declined to conclude the Legislature had done so.  To read more, click here
  
JQH La Vista Conf. Ctr. v. Sarpy Cty. Bd. of Equal.
In JQH La Vista Conf. Ctr. v. Sarpy Cty. Bd. of Equal., 285 Neb. 120, --- N.W.2d --- (2013), the Court analyzed a property tax protest in a consolidated case of tax years 2009 and 2010.  Ultimately, the Court determined that the Tax Equalization Review Commission (TERC) was incorrect when it concluded that the presumption of the county board of equalization's correctness was not overcome by competent evidence.  The basis, in part, for the Court's reasoning was that JQH had offered appraisals by a certified appraiser.  The next issue was then whether the reasonableness of the valuation fixed by the board of equalization was correct.  The burden was one that the taxpayer was required to overcome.  The Court concluded that the taxpayer did not show that the county's valuation was unreasonable or arbitrary and the county's valuation as reviewed by TERC was affirmed.  To read more, click  here
  
Supreme Court Decides Political Subdivisions Tort Claims Act Case
In Blaser v. County of Madison, 285 Neb. 290, --- N.W. 2d --- (2013), the Court considered an appeal to a negligence action against the County under the Political Subdivisions Tort Claims Act (PSTCA).  The plaintiffs' claims followed a single-vehicle accident with injuries where the driver of the vehicle drove into a washout on a vacated county road.
  
The district court found the County liable for negligence.  The County appealed its decision.
  
The Court reversed the lower court's decision and remanded the case to the district court with directions to consider among other things whether the County had actual or constructive knowledge that its road closed sign was not functioning properly on the day of the accident and whether the County had a reasonable amount of time to remedy the problem so it can be determined whether or not the County retained its sovereign immunity.  To read more, click here

This exciting educational event will take place April 17-19, 2013 in Omaha, Nebraska. Hosted by the University of Nebraska, Omaha and Peter Kiewit Institute, the Symposium will provide 1 days of intensive, focused learning opportunities for local elected officials and IT staff regarding cybersecurity.

 

There will be a number of panel discussions, as well as keynote speakers, who are national experts on cybersecurity. Throughout the program, attendees will learn about cyber policies at the local level, mitigating cyber threats, how to respond to an emergency as well as best practices and solutions that counties can adopt. This will be an event that you do not want to miss! The Cyber for Counties program is in conjunction with NACo President Chris Rodgers' 2013 Presidential Initiative.

 

To learn more, click here.

Records_RetentionUpdated Edition of Records Retention Schedule 24 Now Available
An updated edition of Schedule 24 - General Records for Local  Agencies is now available on the NE Secretary of State-Records Management website (click here to view schedule).

CHANGES IN THE SCHEDULE
Communications - Public Records Requests, item 024-021 - Previously this item only addressed denials.  It has been updated/changed to provide a minimum retention for all requests filed under the NE Public Records Statutes.  Additionally, a new item was added that covers "routine" requests that are not filed under the public record statutes.  Please see COMMUNICATIONS - PUBLIC RECORD REQUESTS-ROUTINE, item 024-090.  
  
Communications, Mid-Term, item 024-025 - Updated to make it consistent with the "NE State Archives Communication Guide" that was used in the Records Officer email training conducted earlier this year.
  
Equipment History File, item 024-043 -- Updated to an event driven (5 years after.....) disposition. 
  
Executive Orders or Mayor's Proclamations - Disposition & Reference/Comments updated to reflect changes the State Archives requested.
  
Reports-Worker's Compensation - Disposition removed & "redirect" added under Reference/Comments
NOTE -- Record retention and disposition schedules are designed to serve as the records management directive for storing or disposing of your agency records (regardless of the media on which the records reside).  Please remember that your only ongoing authority to dispose of records is provided by these State Records Administrator approved schedules.  Instructions and contact information regarding their use can be found in the schedules under "Instructions for Using This Schedule'.  Click here to view the "bridging document" for this retention schedule.
The NACO 2013 Directory of County Officials is now available.  The directory is an annual publication that provides names and addresses for elected and appointed county officials in the state.  A directory is available for $17.00 if non-taxable and $18.00 if taxable.  To order, click here.
County_Board_Handbooks2012 County Board  Handbook and Revisions Now Available
The 2012 County Board Handbook and related revisions are available now.  The cost for a current handbook, including legislative information from the 2012 session, is $80.00/book plus $17.00 shipping and handling (this amount increased from $15.45 due to USPS postage rate increase in January) per book.  The 2012 Supplement to the County Board Handbook is available for $20.00 plus $5.00 shipping and handling. The order form is available on the NACO website here.  For questions, contact Wendy Kelly by clicking here or call her at (402) 434-5660 ext. 223.
News_Across_The_StateNews Across the State
Links are to outside sources and may not be available indefinitely.
  
Grand Island Independent, 2/14/2013
 
Beatrice Daily Sun, 2/21/2013
 
Fremont Tribune, 2/21/2013
 
Star-Herald, 2/21/2013
Nebraska Association of County Officials
625 South 14th Street Suite 200 | Lincoln, NE 68508 | 402-434-5660