Nebraska Association of County Officials

1335 H Street Lincoln, NE 68508

Phone: (402) 434-5660
Fax: (402) 434-5673
August 23, 2019 | www.nacone.org | NACO E-Line Archive
Annual Conference Room Reservation Date To Be Re-Announced
The date and time was when room reservations were to be opened for the annual conference in Kearney was cancelled. The conference will still be held at the Younes Conference Center on December 11 - 13, 2019.

Due to flooding in the Kearney area and affecting the several hotels in the Younes Conference Center location the opening date for room reservations will be announced at a later date and after room availability has been determined.

Please watch for updates in the NACO E-line , where we will announce the new date for the opening time for room reservations. It will also be posted on our website and NACO will send an email notice to all county clerks as soon as the new date is available.
2019 Legislative Conference
The NACO Legislative Conference will be hosted by Earl McNutt, Red Willow County Commissioner and NACO Past President in McCook, Nebraska on October 10, 2019. 

Registration and Agenda are now available.
Law Enforcement Dealing With Mental Health & Substance Abuse Disorders
Mini-BETA  
 
Tuesday, October 22, 2019
in York, Nebraska
 
Register Soon!!!
 
Deadline for registration is:
Friday, October 4, 2019
 
Region V Systems is hosting a 1-day training designed to assist Nebraska law enforcement personnel obtain better outcomes when working with persons with mental health and/or substance use disorders.
 
Mini-BETA is intended for dispatchers, support, or sworn personnel who encounter persons experiencing a mental health crisis.  
 
Participants will be introduced to signs and symptoms of mental health disorders or challenges, local mental health resources, threat assessment principals and strategies, and problem solving within local systems of care. 
 
Please note the cost for this training is $50.00 which includes a light breakfast and lunch.
 
You can register by clicking on the "Register Now" link below.  

If you have questions please contact:
 
Kristin Nelson, Region V Systems       
Phone: 402-441-4356
 
or 
 
Jean Barton, Region V Systems
Phone: 402-441-4336
Feedback Survey For Disaster Assistance
In the months following the devastation of historic flooding in our state, Nebraska Extension has been working hard on responding to the needs of Nebraskans. From the beginning, Extension professionals have been on the ground in affected areas providing resources to producers, homeowners, families and communities. Working with our local, state and federal partners to provide information, education, support and supplies to those most affected.

As a valued stakeholder of Nebraska Extension, we would like your feedback regarding the role of Nebraska Extension in the recent weather disaster response and recovery efforts. Your responses to a brief survey will help us strengthen our ongoing efforts. 
 
Extension is a public-funded, non-formal educational system which brings the resources of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to communities statewide in partnership with county government. We have a responsibility to our clientele and colleagues to maintain a high-quality educational program and a relevant and responsive organization. That commitment has never been stronger as we’ve worked to help Nebraska families during the ongoing recovery of this disaster. 

Our UNL campus and county-based Extension professionals have worked in a variety of ways to get Nebraskans the help and information they need. Below, is a glimpse at just a few of the ways Nebraska Extension has supported those affected by the flooding. 
 
  • Providing up to date information to farmers and ranchers on topics such as the Livestock Indemnity Program, hay exchanges, cropping decisions, etc.
  • Distribution of more than 150 moisture meters and mold mitigation education.
  • Donation sites and volunteer coordination for clean-up and repair.
  • Mental wellness education for farmers and ranchers facing economic uncertainty and for bankers, business professionals and health care providers working in impacted communities.
  • Providing bilingual and multi-cultural resources to communities.
  • Contributing to MARC’s – Multi-Agency Resource Centers and working closely with local, state and federal partners to bring resources to local families.
  • Partnering with communities in response and recovery efforts.
  • On-going 4-H programming to help sustain a sense of normality for youth.
  • Coordinating student serviceships/internships focused on disaster recovery efforts.

You can learn more about the resources for families, individuals, homeowners, businesses, and communities and those involved in agriculture at https://flood.unl.edu/ .
  
We greatly appreciate your time and support!
 
Dave Varner, Associate Director
Nebraska Extension
Legislature Schedules Interim Hearings
Legislature Schedules Hearings on Bonds, Unfunded Mandates,
Election Technology
 
The Legislature’s Judiciary Committee will examine the feasibility of using alternatives to cash bonds for misdemeanors and city ordinance violations at a public hearing on Friday, September 13 . Senator Matt Hansen introduced LR144 to continue his efforts to clean up bail and bond requirements, especially for indigent and low-income defendants. The study will examine the number of individuals held in jails on cash bonds for misdemeanors and ordinance violations and pretrial release programs and practices used by counties. The hearing will begin at 1:30 p.m. in Room 1507 of the State Capitol. It will be live-streamed through the Nebraska Legislature’s website.
 
On Friday, October 18 , the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee will hold hearings on two studies. LR149 , by Senator Justin Wayne, will examine the burden of unfunded mandates on county budgets. LR247 , by Senator Andrew La Grone, will examine the long-term sustainability of recurring election technology replacement.
 
Other upcoming hearings include LR184 , an examination of how to provide an adequate and sustainable stream of state funds for local health departments on September 20 . On August 29 , the Revenue and Appropriations Committees will hear a presentation of the 2018 Tax Incentives Annual Report from the Department of Revenue.
 
The interim study resolutions were introduced during the legislative session to examine new ideas for legislation and to dig deeper into issues raised by previously introduced bills. Public hearings are held on some of the priority issues selected by each legislative committee, including the topics that are of interest to counties. County officials are encouraged to attend the hearings and provide testimony. Unlike hearings during the legislative session, testifiers do not need to take a position in support or opposition to the issue, but are asked to provide input. Some of the hearings will be live-streamed through the Legislature's website.
 
The complete interim study schedule is available here or each month's hearings can be found on the Legislature's calendar .
Legal Line
Court Decides Inheritance Tax Status for Parent-Child Relationship
 
Last month the Court of Appeals decided two inheritance tax cases asserting that a parent-child relationship existed between the decedents and beneficiaries. It applied seven factors to determine whether the relationship entitled the beneficiaries to the lower tax rate applied to children of the decedent.
 
Although the Court did not discuss the sizes of the estates or amounts of inheritance taxes that would be due, the inheritance tax rate is affected by whether the beneficiary is treated as a child or an unrelated person. Immediate family members, such as parents, children, and other lineal descendants, are taxed at one percent on amounts in excess of $40,000. More remote relatives , such as aunts, uncles, and cousins, are taxed at 13 percent on amounts in excess of $15,000. All other persons are taxed at 18 percent on amounts in excess of $10,000. The burden is on the taxpayer to show the relationship between the decedent and beneficiaries.
 
Inheritance taxes are credited to the county general fund or another fund designated by the county. This summer, many counties have relied on inheritance taxes to help repair roads and bridges damaged by flooding. In addition, counties have allocated inheritance tax dollars to support a nursing college, implement enhanced 911 systems, install accommodations in courthouses, and reduce property tax levies, among other projects.
 
In In re Estate of Sedlacek and In re Estate of Chambers (citations omitted), the Court applied a list of factors used in earlier Nebraska Supreme Court cases to determine an acknowledged relationship of a parent under Neb.Rev.Stat. § 77-2004 . These include:
(1)   reception of the child into the home and treatment of the child as a member of the family, (2) assumption of the responsibility for support beyond occasional gifts and financial aid, (3) exercise of parental authority and discipline, (4) relationship by blood or marriage, (5) advice and guidance to the child, (6) sharing of time and affection, and (7) existence of written documentation evincing the decedent's intent to act as a parent.
 
In addition, the Court identified community perception and support provided by the parties as factors to consider.
 
In Sedlacek , Sedlacek met Psota when he came to help on Psota’s family farm when Psota was 10 years old. During the years that followed, Sedlacek attended Psota’s wedding and other family holidays and events. They shared meals at each other’s houses. As Sedlacek got older and his needs increased, Psota provided financial and emotional support, including paying for utilities and other bills, riding in an ambulance with Sedlacek for surgery, and serving as co-power of attorney. When Sedlacek was required to enter a nursing home, Psota visited every other day and served as the point of contact. When Sedlacek died, Psota handled the funeral arrangements.
 
The Court found that even though some of the factors were not present or less relevant to the case, the remaining factors were sufficient to show a parent-child relationship between Sedlacek and Psota. It affirmed the district court decision and found that Psota was entitled the tax rate applied to lineal descendants.
 
In Chambers , an unsigned 2013 draft of Deena Chambers’ will stated that her husband’s nephew, Anthony, was like a child to her. However, the signed 2009 version of the will relied upon by the county court did not include this language and listed Anthony as a beneficiary. The inheritance tax worksheet listed Anthony’s designated beneficiary relationship as “Like a Child”, and the county attorney signed the worksheet. The county court ordered a hearing and found that Deena’s husband, Kent, had not met his burden of proof to show that the relationship between Deena and Anthony rose to the level required by § 77-2004.
 
The Court of Appeals found that the county attorney’s signature stipulating to the facts on the worksheet did not prevent the court from holding a hearing to determine the inheritance tax due. The court compared the evidence to the factors listed above, focusing on the assumption of the responsibility for support beyond occasional gifts and financial aid, lack of evidence that Deena and Kent ever called Anthony their son, and failure to exercise parental authority or discipline over Anthony. The Court acknowledged that Kent and Deena acted in a manner that went above and beyond the normal circumstances of the relationship between an aunt and uncle and their nephew but affirmed the county court’s order that Kent failed to prove that Deena stood in the relationship of a parent to Anthony.
 
The cases were decided on July 15, 2019. The full text of the opinions can be found here .
 
Editor's Note: Legal Line is a feature that will periodically appear in NACO E-Line. This article has been prepared by Beth Ferrell 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.
County Government Day PowerPoint
The PowerPoint presentation is 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.

To request the County Government Day PowerPoint electronically, please e-mail your request to larrydix@nacone.org .
News from NACo

On August 1, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted several orders that will have a significant impact on counties across the country. The approved provisions included proposals aimed at developing high-speed broadband services in rural areas and improving broadband mapping accuracy – two major county priorities.
Annual Conference Room Reservation Date
New date will be announced and posted in the E-line and on the NACO website
An e-mail notification will also be sent to all county clerks

Register of Deeds Workshop
September 13, 2019
Younes Conference Center, Kearney

Central District NACO Meeting
September 19, 2019
Leadership Center, Aurora

Northeast District NACO Meeting
September 20, 2019
Lifelong Learning Center, Norfolk

Panhandle District NACO Meeting
September 25, 2019
Prairie Winds Community Center, Bridgeport

West Central District NACO Meeting
September 26, 2019
Ogallala Convention Center, Ogallala

NACO Legislative Conference
October 10, 2019
McCook Community College, McCook

Southeast District NACO Meeting
October 18, 2019
Career Academy, Lincoln
Thank you for keeping up to date on the latest NACO News,

Sincerely,

Nebraska Association of County Officials
1335 H Street Lincoln, NE 68508
Phone: (402) 434-5660
Fax: (402) 434-5673
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