- :: Norris Public Power District
Sunflowers in late summer, outside Fairbury
Norris PPD
606 Irving Street
Beatrice, NE 68310

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Rural Electric Systems are…Working for Nebraska



Villages Benefit from Gross Revenue Taxes and Lease Agreement Fees

Bruce Vitosh--General Manager and CEO

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Small villages have a tremendous amount to offer to the citizens that choose to live in these communities.  The villages located throughout the Norris service territory have many excellent leaders and dedicated volunteers that keep their communities a desirable place to live.  These communities benefit from everyone working together in a positive manner and for the common good.  

Norris Public Power District provides retail electric service to 39 villages, including nine unincorporated communities.  The District leases the electric facilities from 24 of these villages and owns the electric facilities in the remaining communities.

The District has integrated the electric facilities located in the villages into the District’s surrounding power supply, subtransmission and electric distribution system, which enables the citizens to receive reliable power.  The District operates, maintains and provides capital improvements in the villages with leased electric facilities as if the electric facilities are owned by the District.  The customers located in these villages all have the same residential and general service rate schedules available to them for calculating their electric bills. 

State statutes require the District to assess a gross revenue tax of five percent on gross revenues received from retail sales of electricity to customers located within the corporate limits of incorporated villages.  The gross revenue tax that is collected by the District is paid to the county treasurer who distributes the funds proportionately based on the mill levy of the taxing authorities within the villages.  Some of the taxing authorities that receive a portion of the gross revenues taxes include the local school district, village, county, community college, township, natural resource district and others.  The portion of the gross revenue tax that is returned to the villages may be used for general purposes at the discretion of the local village board.

 For villages with lease agreements with the District, lease agreement fees are calculated on the gross revenues received from retail sales of electricity to customers located within the service territory boundaries of the incorporated villages.  The lease agreement fee percentages are set at the discretion of the village boards with a 12% lease fee being assessed by a majority of the villages.  The District returns 100% of the lease fees collected to the villages for use by the villages at the discretion of the local village boards.

The Village of Swanton, which is located in southern Saline County and has a population of 95 residents, has a lease agreement with the District.  Tom Bass, President and CEO of First Tri-County Bank in Swanton and who also serves as a Board Member for the Village of Swanton, provided his thoughts regarding the quality of electric service provided to the citizens of Swanton and the benefits that the gross revenue taxes and lease fees provide for the Village of Swanton.  Tom stated that “Everyone is tired of paying taxes.  However, the gross revenue taxes and lease fees returned to the Village of Swanton are critical to the survival of the town.  Any funds these communities receive are beneficial.”    

Tom continued by saying that “Strong electrical service and affordable rates for towns that are continuing to get smaller are critical to the survival of these small towns.  Without a reliable electric delivery system, people would not be interested in capital investments and making improvements within these towns.”  The Farmers Cooperative based in Dorchester has buildings and facilities in many of the same villages that the District serves.  It is important to the Farmers Cooperative to invest in their facilities in these communities much like the continued investment the District makes in the electric infrastructure throughout the District’s service territory.      

Gross revenue taxes required by the State and lease agreement fees set by local village boards do have an impact on customers who are billed these charges on a monthly basis.  Fortunately, all of these taxes and fees collected remain in the local area.  Leaders who represent the village citizens are authorized to use these funds collected in the most beneficial manner for the citizens.   


Norris Public Power District ©2015