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Nebraska Counties Explorer

Johnson County

Communities and Development

Johnson County Seat: Tecumseh

Total County Population (2020): 5,290

  • Cities (pop. & class): Tecumseh (1,694 • 2nd Class)
  • Villages (pop.): Cook (319), Crab Orchard (46), Elk Creek (69), Sterling (480)
  • Unincorporated Pop. (% of county pop.): 2,682 (51%)

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

  • Agriculture: 81%
    • By method: Dryland (row crop/grain/forage) (44%); Pasture (pure grassland) (26%); Irrigated (row crop/grain/forage) (11%) • Neb. Dept. of Rev. - total equals agriculture's %
    • By commodity: Soybeans 28%, Livestock (grassland) 27%, Corn 26%, Other Hay 2%, Alfalfa 1% • USDA - equals agriculture's % minus public grassland/wetlands and reserve
  • Residential, Commercial, Industrial, Conservation Reserve & Exempt (combined): 11%
  • Timber: 6%

County Offices

Courthouse Address and Hours:

351 Broadway
Tecumseh, Nebraska 68450
M-F 8:00 am - 12:30; 1:00 pm - 4:30 pm

County Board Chairperson: Ted Evans

Complete list of county board members

County Board Meetings: Every other Tuesday

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: 5,290
Land area (sq. mi.): 376.08
Population per square mile: 14.1


White: 77.5%
African American: 5.9%
American Indian: 1.0%
Asian: 1.4%
Hispanic: 11.9%
Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 0.0%
Two or More Races: 2.1%


0-17: 19.2%
18-64: 65.1%
65+: 19.2%


Personal income per capita: $42,104
% of Population in Poverty: 12.3%
# of Housing Units: 2,093
Owner-occupied rate: 72.6%
Median home price: $123,670


Access to broadband (100 Mbps via fiber or cable modem): 49.6%

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

Employment, Schools, and Child Care

Unemployment rate: 2.5% (as of September 2022)

County Employment Website:

High school graduate or higher: 87.6%

Bachelor's degree or higher: 18.7%

School Districts: Freeman Public Schools, Humboldt Table Rock Steinauer, Johnson-Brock Public Schools, Johnson County Central Public Schools, Lewiston Consolidated Schools, Sterling Public Schools, Syracuse-Dunbar-Avoca Schools

Countywide child care capacity: 4 providers; 89 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.

Johnson County Economy

Annual Gross Domestic Product (2020): $182,703,000

Cattle Producers: 178

  • Pastureland Cash Rent (avg.): $46/acre

Crop Producers: 107

  • Dryland Cash Rent (avg.): $161/acre
  • Irrigated Land Cash Rent (avg.): $246/acre

Grain Co-ops and Purchasers: Farmers Union Coop, Frontier

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

Electricity Providers: Auburn Board of Public Works, City of Tecumseh, Nebraska PPD, Omaha PPD

Rail-served Communities: Elk Creek, St. Mary, Sterling, Tecumseh

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

Total Irrigation/Livestock Wells: 307

Surface Water Diversions (Irrigation): 144

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: $0.2948 per $100 of taxable valuation

County property taxes levied: $2,906,717

Total local government property taxes levied: $15,056,908

Total countywide taxable valuation: $986,161,225

Click here for all levy rates in Johnson 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: Julie Slama (District 1)

Standing Committees (click for scheduled committee hearings): 

Select Committees:

  • Reference

Special Committees: 

  • Executive Board of the Legislative Council

Map and statistics for Legislative District 1

Map of all districts in the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature

Johnson County History

Number of Registered Historic Places: 14

Year Authorized: 1855

Year Organized: 1857

Etymology: Richard Johnson (U.S. vice president)

     The early pioneers of Johnson County braved numerous challenges in those first few years, most notably bitter winters, massive snowdrifts, and isolation from the nearest town many miles away. The early European settlers were undaunted, and roads began spreading through the county, connecting early outposts and communities. 

     In 1857, the Nebraska Legislature partitioned Nemaha County, creating Johnson County from the western half. The county was named after Richard M. Johnson, who fought in the War of 1812 and later served one term as Vice President. It was reported but never verified that Johnson killed the Shawnee chief Tecumseh during the Battle of the Thames during the war; the Johnson County seat of Tecumseh is named after the Native American warrior.

     Between 1860 and 1900, the county gained over ten thousand residents, mostly farmers drawn to the area by its three feet of top soil, numerous streams, abundant well water, and timber; its agriculture production per acre rivals any Nebraska county. Yet what lies beneath the surface may be equally valuable as what grows above it. Johnson County boasts some of the country’s largest deposits of rare earth elements used to produce high-strength alloys.

     Today, the Johnson County Historical Society preserves the rich history of the county, including one of the original jails and schoolhouses, a historical Christian church, Native American artifacts and pottery from as far back as 1200, antique glass and dishware, and the story of Tecumseh native Charles O. Gardner, who became internationally known for developing high yield corn seed and genetic research in agronomy.

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Local Highlights

License Plate Number: 57

Time Zone: Central

Zoned County: Yes

Number of Veterans: 299

County Hospital: Johnson County Hospital

Number of County-Owned Bridges: 140

Number of County-Owned Dams: 1

Election Data

General Election Turnout % (2022): 59.41%

Total Registered Voters (2020): 2,846

Number of Precincts (2020): 6

Number of Election Day Polling Places (2020): 6

Land Area per Polling Place (avg.) (2020): 62.88 sq. miles

Intergovernmental Data

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

Natural Resource District: Nemaha NRD

State Lands (acres): Hickory Ridge WMA (564.20), James N. Douglas WMA (1,118.31), Osage WMA (777.86)

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)