Levi Lippincott said he finds it frustrating that property taxes paid by Sarpy County residents have grown consistently over the past decade despite the tax levy remaining at 29.9 cents per $100 of assessed valuation.
“They say we haven’t raised your tax rate,” Lippincott said. “Well no, they haven’t, but they’ve raised everybody’s property valuations, which raises our taxes, and that doesn’t encourage people to move here.”
Lippincott, 28, the current chairman of the Sarpy County Republican Party, is challenging first-term County Commissioner Jim Thompson in the Republican primary for the District 2 seat that represents Papillion and La Vista.
He said he will challenge the county’s elected department heads to reduce their budgets by 10 percent in order to grant residents significant property tax relief.
“These department heads are mostly very experienced people, most of whom are probably not going to get an electoral challenge,” he said. “They will know where to cut costs. There are ways to increase efficiencies.”
Married to Rose, who is running for the Papillion-La Vista school board, for almost 10 years, Lippincott is the father of three children, ages 2, 6 and 8. He said he is eager to make Sarpy County a place where young families will consider locating.
Lowering the property tax burden is key to making that happen, he said.
“People talk a lot about a brain drain,” he said. “Well, not necessarily. They leave for a little bit, but then when they start having kids they often come back to Nebraska, and when they do, lower property taxes might persuade them to come to Sarpy County instead of Washington County.”
County officials should stress infrastructure issues such as roads, he said, instead of looking there for spending cuts when times are hard.
“If you want a stable, growing economy where businesses are going to keep moving in, then they need to know that developments are actually going to get built and that they’ll have a decent road that trucks can use to transport their good and services,” he said.
Lippincott is an IT professional who works in Omaha and who grew up in Lexington. He moved to Sarpy County in 2003.