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Nebraska Counties Explorer

Platte County

Communities and Development

Platte County Seat: Columbus

Total County Population (2020): 34,296

  • Cities (pop. & class): Columbus (24,028 • 1st Class), Humphrey (905 • 2nd Class), Newman Grove (667 • 2nd Class)
  • Villages (pop.): Cornlea (33), Creston (181), Duncan (392), Lindsay (283), Monroe (296), Platte Center (333), Tarnov (52)
  • Unincorporated Pop. (% of county pop.): 7,823 (23%)

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

  • Agriculture: 85%
    • By method: Irrigated (row crop/grain/forage) (50%); Dryland (row crop/grain/forage) (27%); Pasture (pure grassland) (8%) • Neb. Dept. of Rev. - total equals agriculture's %
    • By commodity: Corn 47%, Soybeans 30%, Livestock (grassland) 9%, Alfalfa 2%, Other Hay 1% • USDA - equals agriculture's % plus some wetlands (3%) and minus public grassland/wetlands and reserve
  • Residential, Commercial, Industrial, Conservation Reserve & Exempt (combined): 13%
  • Timber: 2%

County Offices

Courthouse Address and Hours:

2610 14th Street
Columbus, Nebraska 68601
M-F 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

County Board Chairperson: Kim Kwapnioski

Complete list of county board members

County Board Meetings: Every other Tuesday

View the County's Government Maps

Visit the County Fairgrounds

NACO District: Northeast

President: Lisa Lunz, Dixon County Supervisor 

Vice President: Sandy Zoubek, Stanton County Treasurer

Secretary: Katie Hart, Burt County Assessor

Treasurer: Krista Nix, Knox County Deputy Clerk 

NACO Board Representative: Bill Tielke, Holt County Supervisor 

Click for a live look at Platte County (east of Tarnov)


Population: 34,296
Land area (sq. mi.): 674.05
Population per square mile: 50.9

Race and Age


White: 74.6%
African American: 1.0%
American Indian: 0.3%
Asian: 0.6%
Hispanic: 21.1%
Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 0.0%
Two or More Races: 2.1%


0-17: 26.4%
18-64: 55.8%
65+: 17.8%


Personal income per capita: $56,149
% of Population in Poverty: 6.6%
# of Housing Units: 14,094
Owner-occupied rate: 72.0%
Median home price: $188,390


Access to broadband (100 Mbps via fiber or cable modem): 84.7%

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: 90.9%

School Districts: Columbus Public Schools, Humphrey Public Schools, Lakeview Community Schools, Leigh Community Schools, Madison Public Schools, Newman Grove Public Schools, Twin River Public Schools, St. Edward Public Schools

Bachelor's degree or higher: 23.4%

Community College Service Area: Central Community College

Countywide child care capacity: 61 providers; 1,598 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.

Platte County Economy

Annual Gross Domestic Product (2020): $2,739,898,000

Cattle Producers: 267

  • Pastureland Cash Rent (avg.): $52/acre

Crop Producers: 465

  • Dryland Cash Rent (avg.): $206/acre
  • Irrigated Land Cash Rent (avg.): $305/acre

Dairy Producers: 2

Grain Co-ops and Purchasers: ADM, Central Valley Ag, Frontier, Farmers Coop Association

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

Farmers Markets:

  • Columbus Farmers Market (May - October, Saturdays 7:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.)
  • Market23 (Tuesdays - Fridays 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Saturdays 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.)

Electricity Providers: Cornhusker PPD, Elkhorn Rural PPD, Loup River PPD

Wind Turbines Operating (MW): 7 turbines (13,700 MW total)

Rail-served Communities: Columbus, Duncan, Humphrey, Monroe, Platte Center, Tarnov

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

Total Irrigation/Livestock Wells: 2,389

Surface Water Diversions (Irrigation): 39

Click for real time:

Streamflow data on the Platte River near Duncan

Streamflow data on Shell Creek near Columbus

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: $0.1947 per $100 of taxable valuation

County property taxes levied: $11,895,865

Total local government property taxes levied: $84,807,784

Total countywide taxable valuation: $6,110,057,264

Click here for all levy rates in Platte 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: Mike Moser (District 22)

Standing Committees (click for scheduled committee hearings): 

Select Committees:

  • Committee on Committees

Map and statistics for Legislative District 22

Map of all districts in the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature

Platte County History

Number of Registered Historic Places: 22

Year Authorized: 1856

Year Organized: 1856

Etymology: Platte River (French word for "flat")

Named after the Platte River which makes up its southern boundary, Platte County was officially established by the Legislature on Jan. 26, 1856. Three years later its boundaries were redefined to include an area to the west known as Monroe County, giving the county its present boundaries.

In the summer of 1856, advance agents from the Columbus Town Company came to the area from Columbus, Ohio. Upon reaching the Loup River the agents marked the site for a future town to be called Columbus. The new settlement quickly grew and soon had a mill, hotel and general store. The first meeting of the Board of Commissioners was conducted in December 1857 in a log house and it would be more than 10 years before the county would have a courthouse.

When the Union Pacific Railroad headed west through Columbus in 1866, the area's growth accelerated at a faster pace. The following year a special election was held to approve the issuance of $16,000 in bonds to build a courthouse and jail. Construction was completed in 1870.
Another boost to the county came in 1881 when the Atchison and Nebraska Branch of the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad constructed a rail line connecting Columbus with Lincoln. Columbus rapidly became a flourishing railroad center and commerce hub.

The courthouse that was completed in 1870 was soon outgrown by the county. On June 26, 1922, the current courthouse was dedicated. The Grecian-Ionic style structure occupied a quarter-block in downtown Columbus when it opened. But in the early 1970s, the need for additional space once again became apparent and a $1.76 million addition opened in September 1976. The two-story addition houses the sheriff's office, civil defense office, County Board room, treasurer's office and the courtrooms.

Platte County enjoys a diverse economy today. Farming and livestock production, along with manufacturing, lead the way. Among the many manufacturing operations to locate in the county is Lindsay Irrigation, known worldwide for its center pivot systems.

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Local Highlights

License Plate Number: 10

Time Zone: Central

Number of Veterans: 1,903

Zoned County: No

Number of County-Owned Bridges: 368

Number of County-Owned Dams: 1

Election Data

General Election Turnout (2022): 54.87%

Total Registered Voters (2020): 20,718

Number of Precincts (2020): 30

Number of Election Day Polling Places (2020): 25

Land Area per Polling Place (avg.) (2020): 26.96 sq. miles

Intergovernmental Data

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

Natural Resource Districts: Central Platte NRD, Lower Elkhorn NRD, Lower Loup NRD, Lower Platte North NRD

State Lands (acres): Flat Water Landing WMA (6), George D. Syas WMA (899.80), Lee Rupp WMA (67), Wilkinson WMA (939.57)

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)