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Nebraska Counties Explorer

Rock County

Communities and Development

Rock County Seat: Bassett

Total County Population (2020): 1,262

  • Cities (pop. & class): Bassett (538 • 2nd Class)
  • Villages (pop.): Newport (68)
  • Unincorporated Pop. (% of county pop.): 656 (52%)

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

  • Agriculture: 92.5%
    • By method: Pasture (pure grassland) (84%); Irrigated (row crop/grain/forage) (8%); Dryland (row crop/grain/forage) (1%) • Neb. Dept. of Rev. - total equals agriculture's %
    • By commodity: Livestock (grassland) 76%, Corn 4%, Soybeans 3%, Alfalfa 1% • USDA - equals agriculture's % plus some wetlands (11%) and minus public grassland/wetlands and reserve
  • Residential, Commercial, Industrial, Conservation Reserve & Exempt (combined): 5.5%
  • Timber: 2%

County Offices

Courthouse Address and Hours:

400 State Street
Bassett, Nebraska 68714
M-F 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

County Board Chairperson: Jim Stout

Complete list of county board members

County Board Meetings: 1st & 3rd 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 Rock County (east of Newport)


Population: 1,262
Land area (sq. mi.): 1,008.29
Population per square mile: 1.3



White: 96.6%
African American: 0.2%
American Indian: 0.1%
Asian: 0.0%
Hispanic: 1.6%
Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 0.0%
Two or More Races: 1.3%


0-17: 22.8%
18-64: 48.7%
65+: 28.6%


Personal income per capita: $80,527
% of Population in Poverty: 13.3%
# of Housing Units: 795
Owner-occupied rate: 78.9%
Median home price: $108,780


Access to broadband (100 Mbps via fiber or cable modem): 13.7%

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

Employment, Schools, and Child Care

Unemployment rate: 1.3% (as of September 2022)

County Employment Website:

High school graduate or higher: 96.6%

School Districts: Ainsworth Community Schools, Rock County Public Schools

Bachelor's degree or higher: 29.7%

Community College Service Area: Northeast Community College

Countywide child care capacity: 3 providers; 30 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.

Rock County Economy

Annual Gross Domestic Product (2020): $94,084,000

Cattle Producers: 157

  • Pastureland Cash Rent (avg.): $28/acre

Crop Producers: 50

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

Grain Co-ops and Purchasers: AGP, Aurora Cooperative, CHS, CPI, Central Valley Ag, Fairfield Non-Stock Co-op, Farmers Coop, Gottsch Cattle Company, KAAPA Ethanol, Pillen Family Farms

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

Farmers Market: Bassett Farmers Market (July - October, Saturdays 8:00 AM  - 12:00 PM)

Electricity Providers: KBR Rural PPD, Nebraska PPD

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

Total Irrigation/Livestock Wells: 1,107

Surface Water Diversions (Irrigation): 29

Click for real time:

Groundwater level data near S. Pine Ave. & 855th Rd. (23.5 mi. southwest of Bassett)

Sources: 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: $0.4221 per $100 of taxable valuation

County property taxes levied: $2,792,966

Total local government property taxes levied: $7,711,875

Total countywide taxable valuation: $663,200,051

Federal PILT payment to Holt County (FY2022): $235 regarding 80 federally-owned acres

Click here for all levy rates in Rock 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: Tom Brewer (District 43)

Standing Committees (click for scheduled committee hearings):

Special Committees:

  • State-Tribal Relations

Map and statistics for Legislative District 43

Map of all districts in the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature

Rock County History

Number of Registered Historic Places: 3

Year Authorized: 1888

Year Organized: 1888

Etymology: Local geography (either Rock Creek or the rocky soil condition)

The area known today as Rock County was once attached to Holt County on east for administrative and judicial purposes. In 1883, the area would become part of the newly-created Brown County on the west. Immediately thereafter a movement took place to separate from Brown County and designate the area as a county itself. Voters approved the proposal in 1887 and the following year Rock County was officially organized.

There are two versions of how the county received its name. The first is that it was named after Rock Creek, which empties into the Niobrara River. The second is that it was named after the area's rocky soil conditions during those days. Either is possible, as a rock quarry which produced exceptionally fine building stone was located along the creek.

When it came time to select a county seat, five locations vied for the honor -- Bassett, Newport, Rock Center, Thurman and Tracy. Since none of the five received a majority vote, Bassett was named the temporary county seat. During a special election on Jan. 29, 1889, Bassett was given the honor permanently. This resulted in a bitter conflict between Newport and Bassett that eventually wound up in court.

At a special election on Nov. 8, 1889, a $5,000 bond was approved by Bassett voters to build a frame courthouse. When the courthouse was destroyed by fire 10 years later, the conflict between the two townsites resumed. Bassett quickly built another courthouse, which served the county until 1940. It was during that year, with the assistance of the Public Works Administration, and the current courthouse was built in Bassett.

When the area was first being settled, small farms and ranches were commonplace. Ranching remains the economic mainstay today, with the county being recognized as one of the top producers of wild hay in the state. With the development of center pivot irrigation systems, Rock County has also enjoyed a steady increase in corn production over the past 25 years.

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Local Highlights

License Plate Number: 81

Time Zone: Central

Number of Veterans: 83

Zoned County: Yes

County Hospital: Rock County Hospital

County Library: Rock County Public Library

Number of County-Owned Bridges: 10

Election Data

General Election Turnout (2022): 58.82%

Total Registered Voters (2020): 1,037

Number of Precincts (2020): 1

Number of Election Day Polling Places (2020): 1

Land Area per Polling Place (avg.) (2020): 1,008.29 sq. miles

Intergovernmental Data

Emergency Mgt. Planning, Exercise and Training (PET) Region: North Central/Sandhills

Natural Resource Districts: Lower Loup NRD, Lower Niobrara NRD, Middle Niobrara NRD, Upper Elkhorn NRD

State Lands (acres): Barta Brothers Ranch (6,000), Peterson Lake WMA (140), Twin Lakes R.C. WMA (703.10)

Federal Lands (acres): John W. and Louise Seier NWR (2,400)

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)