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Nebraska Counties Explorer

Harlan County

Harlan County Seat (pop.): Alma (1,043)

Cities, Towns, and Villages (pop.): Huntley (33), Orleans (341), Oxford (718), Ragan (22), Republican City (134), Stamford (158)

Courthouse Address and Hours:

706 West 2nd Street
Alma, Nebraska 68920
M-F 8:30 am - 4:30 pm

County Board Chairperson: Tony Gulizia

Complete list of county board members

County Board Meetings: 1st & 3rd Tuesday

View the County's Government Maps

Visit the County Fairgrounds

NACO District: Central

District President: Royce Gonzales, Nuckolls County Clerk of the District Court

District Vice President: Carrie Miller, Nuckolls County Clerk, Register of Deeds, Election Commissioner 

District Secretary/Treasurer: Kali Bolli, Garfield County Assessor

NACO Board Representatives: Diana Hurlburt, Garfield County Commissioner

Click for a live look at Harlan County (north of Alma)


Population: 3,091
Land area (sq. mi.): 553.47
Population per square mile: 5.6


White: 95.1%
African American: 0.6%
American Indian: 0.6%
Asian: 0.5%
Hispanic: 2.4%
Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 0.0%


0-17: 21.6%
18-64: 51.1%
65+: 27.2%


Personal income per capita: $66,306
% of Population in Poverty: 9.9%
# of Housing Units: 1,929
Owner-occupied rate: 78.4%
Median home price: $134,530


Access to broadband (100 Mbps via fiber or cable modem): 59.5%

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: 93.4%

Bachelor's degree or higher: 23.8%

School Districts: Alma Public Schools, Franklin Public Schools, Holdrege Public Schools, Loomis Public Schools, Southern Valley Schools, Wilcox-Hildreth Public Schools

Countywide child care capacity: 1 providers; 80 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.

Harlan County Economy

Annual Gross Domestic Product (2020): $174,611,000

Ag. Producers (Cattle): 137

Ag. Producers (Crop): 125

Grain Co-ops and Purchasers: Ag Valley, CHS, CPI

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

Electricity Providers: Southern PPD, Twin Valleys PPD, Village of Oxford

Rail-served Communities: Alma, Flynn, Mascot, Orleans, Oxford, Republican City, Stamford

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 Valuation

County levy rate: $0.2305 per $100 of taxable valuation

County property taxes levied: $2,380,727

Total local government property taxes levied: $14,093,298

Total countywide taxable valuation: $1,032,853,507

Click here for all levy rates in Harlan 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: Dave Murman (District 38)
Committees: Education, Revenue, Committee on Committees

Map and statistics for Legislative District 38

Map of all districts in the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature

Harlan County History

Year Founded: 1871

Number of Registered Historic Places: 7

Etymology: Disputed; James Harlan (either a politician or revenue collector)

Harlan County is another of those in Nebraska where historians differ on how the county received its name. There are some who claim the county was named after a revenue collector by the name of Harlan who once lived near Republican City. Others say the county was named in honor of James Harlan, who was the U.S. Secretary of the Interior in 1865 and 1866.

In any case, Harlan County was created by the Legislature on June 3, 1871, when lawmakers separated this area from a much larger Lincoln County. At the time, a settlement known as Melrose was considered the county seat. The following month, an election was held in the settlement of Alma to select a permanent county seat and to elect the first county officers.

Although voters selected Alma, it would take several more elections and a district judge's ruling before the settlement on the Republican River would actually become the home of the county's government. When county commissioners encountered difficulty in securing county records, Alma resident Joel A. Piper journeyed to Melrose one evening and, with the aid of an accomplice, "took" the records. Piper gained much notoriety for his deed, and in 1875 he was elected sheriff. In the years that followed Piper would serve as the county's superintendent of schools and clerk. In 1894 he would make a move to state government when he was elected Nebraska's ninth Secretary of State.

Harlan County has used four different buildings to house county offices since it was formally organized. The first was an upper story of a private residence that was used from 1875 to 1877. Then from 1877 to 1880, county offices were housed in an Alma business. The first actual courthouse was built in the county in 1880. Constructed of brick, it was located on what would become known as the courthouse square in Alma. This courthouse would serve the public until 1965, when a new courthouse was built on the same site at a cost of $320,000.

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License Plate Number: 51

Time Zone: Central

Zoned County: Yes

Number of Veterans: 288

Voter Turnout (2022): 59.28%

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

Number of County-Owned Bridges: 47

Number of County-Owned Dams: 6

County Hospital: Harlan County Health System

State Lands (acres): Burton's Bend WMA (77 Furnas, Harlan & Red Willow), South Sacramento WMA (167), Southeast Sacramento WMA (185.05)

Federal Lands (acres): Harlan County Reservoir (31,010)

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)