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Nebraska Counties Explorer

Butler County

Communities and Development

Butler County Seat: David City

Total County Population (2020): 8,369

  • Cities (pop. & class): David City (2,995 • 2nd Class)
  • Villages (pop.): Abie (65), Bellwood (407), Brainard (336), Bruno (95), Dwight (229), Garrison (55), Linwood (94), Octavia (107), Rising City (356), Surprise (37), Ulysses (196)
  • Unincorporated Pop. (% of county pop.): 3,397 (41%)

Land Development (2022) (% of total land in county):

  • Agriculture: 86%
    • By method: Dryland (row crop/grain/forage) (39%); Irrigated (row crop/grain/forage) (36%); Pasture (pure grassland) (11%) • Neb. Dept. of Rev. - total equals agriculture's %
    • By commodity: Corn 41%, Soybeans 33%, Livestock (grassland) 12%, Alfalfa 2%, Other Hay 1% • USDA (NLCD) - equals agriculture's % plus some wetlands (1%) and minus public grassland/wetlands and reserve
  • Residential, Commercial, Industrial, Conservation Reserve & Exempt (combined): 9%
  • Timber: 5%

County Offices

Courthouse Address and Hours:

451 North 5th Street
David City, Nebraska 68632
M-F 8:30 am - 5:00 pm

County Board Chairperson: Anthony Whitmore

Complete list of county board members

County Board Meetings: 1st & 3rd Monday

View the County's Government Maps

Visit the County Fairgrounds

NACO District: Southeast

President: Misty Ahmic, Seward County Commissioner

Vice President: Patty McEvoy, Saunders County Clerk of the District Court

Secretary/Treasurer: Amber Mulberry, Saline County Clerk of the District Court

NACO Board Representative: Mark Schoenrock, Jefferson County Commissioner


Population: 8,369
Land area (sq. mi.): 584.89
Population per square mile: 14.3

Race & Age


White: 91.1%
African American: 0.3%
American Indian: 0.3%
Asian: 0.1%
Hispanic: 5.8%
Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 0.0%
Two or More Races: 2.1%


0-17: 24.0%
18-64: 55.2%
65+: 20.7%


Personal income per capita: $59,717
% of Population in Poverty: 7.5%
# of Housing Units: 4,028
Owner-occupied rate: 76.1%
Median home price: $150,240


Access to broadband (100 Mbps via fiber or cable modem): 53.1%

Sources: National Association of RealtorsNebraska Library Commission, U.S. Bureau of Economic AnalysisU.S. Census Bureau

Employment, Schools, and Child Care

Unemployment rate: 1.7% (as of September 2022)

County Employment Website:

High school graduate or higher: 92.4%

School Districts: Centennial Public Schools, Columbus Public Schools, David City Public Schools, East Butler Public Schools, Raymond Central Public Schools, Seward Public Schools, Shelby-Rising City Public Schools

Bachelor's degree or higher: 23.7%

Community College Service Area: Central Community College

Countywide child care capacity: 11 providers; 306 children

Find child care: For a list of child care providers in your zip code, visit Nebraska DHHS or the Nebraska Resource and Referral System.

Butler County Economy

Annual Gross Domestic Product (2020): $330,030,000

Cattle Producers: 215

  • Pastureland Cash Rent (avg.): $53/acre/yr

Crop Producers: 235

  • Dryland Land Cash Rent (avg.): $205acre/yr
  • Irrigated Land Cash Rent (avg.): $289/acre/yr

Dairy Producers: 2

Grain Co-ops and Purchasers: Aurora Cooperative, Bruno Cooperative Grain Association, Central Valley Ag, Frontier

Local Grain Market: Click for today's grain prices in Butler County

Farmers Markets:

  • David City Farmers Market ( May - October, 4 - 6 p.m.)

Electricity Providers: Butler PPD, City of David City, Polk County Rural PPD, Village of Brainard

Wind Turbines Operating (MW): 1 turbine (MW unknown)

Rail-served Communities: Bellwood, Brainard, David City, Garrison, Rising City

Well Locations (Irrigation/Livestock), Soils, Groundwater & Surface Water

Total Irrigation/Livestock Wells: 1,514

Surface Water Diversions (Irrigation): 93

Click for real time:

Groundwater level data 2.5 mi. north of Rising City

Groundwater level data 3.5 mi. northeast of Rising City

Sources: National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA), Nebraska Cooperative Council, Nebraska Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary EducationNebraska Department of TransportationNebraska Office of the CIO, Nebraska Power Review Board, U.S. Bureau of Economic AnalysisU.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census Bureau

2022 Levies and Valuations

County levy rate: $0.1781 per $100 of taxable valuation

County property taxes levied: $4,424,502

Total local government property taxes levied: $32,339,910

Total countywide taxable valuation: $2,484,948,034

Click here for all levy rates in Butler County

County Levy and Taxation Laws

Levy limits

Since 1996, counties and other political subdivisions have been subject to the levy limits listed in Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-3442 and Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-3443.

Statutes and regulations

Nebraska Revised Statutes (Chapter 77)

Nebraska Administrative Code (Title 350)

Local tax reductions, exemptions, and credits:

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 76-902(5)(a) (Deed "stamp tax" exemption): "The [stamp tax] shall not apply to: ... (5)(a) Deeds between spouses, between ex-spouses for the purpose of conveying any rights to property acquired or held during the marriage, or between parent and child, without actual consideration therefor."

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-201(2) (Valuation of agricultural land and horticultural land): "Agricultural land and horticultural land as defined in section 77-1359 shall constitute a separate and distinct class of property for purposes of property taxation, shall be subject to taxation, unless expressly exempt from taxation, and shall be valued at seventy-five percent of its actual value, except that for school district taxes levied to pay the principal and interest on bonds that are approved by a vote of the people on or after January 1, 2022, such land shall be valued at fifty percent of its actual value."

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-6703(1) (Tax credit for school district taxes paid): "(1) For taxable years beginning or deemed to begin on or after January 1, 2020, under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, there shall be allowed to each eligible taxpayer a refundable credit against the income tax imposed by the Nebraska Revenue Act of 1967 or against the franchise tax imposed by sections 77-3801 to 77-3807. The credit shall be equal to the credit percentage for the taxable year, as set by the department under subsection (2) of this section, multiplied by the amount of school district taxes paid by the eligible taxpayer during such taxable year."

Sources: Nebraska Department of Revenue

State Senator: Bruce Bostelman (District 23)
Committees: Natural Resources, Transportation and Telecommunications, Committee on Committees, Rural Broadband Task Force, Statewide Tourism And Recreational Water Access and Resource Sustainability (LB406)

Map and statistics for Legislative District 23

State Senator: Jana Hughes (District 24)
Committees: Agriculture, General Affairs, Natural Resources, Building Maintenance

Map and statistics for Legislative District 24

Map of all districts in the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature

Butler County History

Number of Registered Historic Places: 13

Year Authorized: 1856

Year Organized: 1868

Etymology: William Butler (U.S. Congressman)  

     Butler County boasts a history that spans over several centuries. The county was originally home to several Native American tribes, including the Omaha, Pawnee, and Winnebago. In 1847, the Waverly Town Company began settling the area near Linwood, which was near the site of an ancient Pawnee village. In fact, Skull Creek was named for the numerous human skulls discovered during construction of an early white settlement in the area.

     Although the Legislature defined Butler County’s boundaries in 1856, it was only until 1868 that the county was formally organized. The origin of Butler County’s name is somewhat disputed. Some claim the county was named after Nebraska governor David Butler, while the predominant argument suggests that the county’s namesake was William Butler, a U.S. Congressman who declined an appointment to become Nebraska’s first governor (the honor would pass to Francis Burt—the namesake of Burt County—who died after only two days in office).

     Soon after the county’s organization, the population rapidly climbed from only a couple of hundred residents to over 2,500. Like many other counties in eastern Nebraska, Butler County’s fertile soil and strong potential for agriculture drew thousands of homesteaders. By 1890, the population had grown from 27 settlers in 1860 to more than 15,000, due in no small part to the railroad.

     Savannah was the original county seat, but its northern location left residents seeking a more central location. David City emerged victorious from a multi-year series of bitter elections and seized the county seat from Savannah. Though the site of David City lacked the existing infrastructure of Savannah, it sprang up fast on the prairie and became home to over 2,000 residents by 1880, foreshadowing the growth of the county over the next several decades.

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Local Highlights

License Plate Number: 25

Time Zone: Central

Number of Veterans: 549

Zoned County: No

County Hospital: Butler County Health Care Center

Number of County-Owned Bridges: 173

Number of County-Owned Dams: 3

Election Data

Voter Turnout (2022): 63.63%

Number of Registered Voters (2020): 5,656

Number of Precincts (2020): 11

Number of Election Day Polling Places (2020): 8

Land Area per Polling Place (2020): 73.11 sq. miles

Intergovernmental Data

Emergency Mgt. Planning, Exercise and Training (PET) Region: East Central

Natural Resource Districts: Lower Loup NRD, Lower Platte North NRD, Lower Platte South NRD, Upper Big Blue NRD

State Lands (acres): Redtail WMA (320)

Sources: Nebraska Department of Transportation, Nebraska Emergency Management AgencyNebraska Game & Parks CommissionNebraska LegislatureNebraska Office of the CIONebraska Secretary of StateU.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (eCFR)