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Nebraska Counties Explorer

Saline County

Communities and Development

Saline County Seat: Wilber

Total County Population (2020): 14,292

  • Cities (pop. & class): Crete (7,099 • 2nd Class), Friend (954 • 2nd Class), Wilber (1,937 • 2nd Class)
  • Villages (pop.): DeWitt (530), Dorchester (610), Swanton (82), Tobias (114), Western (227)
  • Unincorporated Pop. (% of county pop.): 2,739 (19%)

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

  • Agriculture: 88%
    • By method: Dryland (row crop/grain/forage) (43%); Irrigated (row crop/grain/forage) (31%); Pasture (pure grassland) (14%) • Neb. Dept. of Rev. - total equals agriculture's %
    • By commodity: Corn 38%, Soybeans 34%, Livestock (grassland) 11%, Alfalfa 1%, Other Hay 1%, Wheat 1% • USDA - equals agriculture's % plus some wooded grazing land (6%) and minus public grassland/wetlands and reserve
  • Residential, Commercial, Industrial, Conservation Reserve & Exempt (combined): 8%
  • Timber: 3%

County Offices

Courthouse Address and Hours:

204 South High Street
Wilber, Nebraska 68465
M-F 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

County Board Chairperson: Phil Hardenburger

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

Click for a live look at Saline County (west of Wilber)


Population: 14,192
Land area (sq. mi.): 574.06
Population per square mile: 24.9



White: 65.5%
African American: 0.9%
American Indian: 0.3%
Asian: 1.9%
Hispanic: 28.5%
Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 0.3%
Two or More Races: 2.4%


0-17: 26.0%
18-64: 58.6%
65+: 15.4%


Personal income per capita: $51,623
% of Population in Poverty: 8.0%
# of Housing Units: 5,714
Owner-occupied rate: 70.6%
Median home price: $142,680


Access to broadband (100 Mbps via fiber or cable modem): 82.8%

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

Employment, Schools, and Child Care

Unemployment rate: 1.9% (as of September 2022)

County Employment Website:

High school graduate or higher: 82.0%

School Districts: Crete Public Schools, Dorchester Public Schools, Exeter-Milligan Public Schools, Friend Public Schools, Meridian Public Schools, Milford Public Schools, Tri County Public Schools, Wilber-Clatonia Public Schools

Bachelor's degree or higher: 19.2%

Community College Service Area: Southeast Community College

Countywide child care capacity: 18 providers; 507 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.

Saline County Economy

Annual Gross Domestic Product (2020): $1,161,602,000

Cattle Producers: 254

  • Pastureland Cash Rent (avg.): $43/acre

Crop Producers: 299

  • Dryland Cash Rent (avg.): $144/acre
  • Irrigated Land Cash Rent (avg.): $264/acre

Dairy Producers: 1

Grain Co-ops and Purchasers: Farmers Union Coop

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

Farmers Markets: 

  • Crete Farmers Market (May - November, Thursdays 2:00 - 5:30 p.m.; Thurs)
  • Friend Farmers Market (June - October, Tuesdays and Saturdays 4:30 - 8:30 p.m.)
  • Wilber Farmers Market (June - October, Tuesdays 4 - 6:30 p.m.)

Electricity Providers: City of Crete, City of Friend, City of Wilber, Norris PPD, Village of De Witt, Village of Dorchester

Wind Turbines Operating (MW): 94 turbines (286,250 MW total)

Rail-served Communities: Crete, DeWitt, Dorchester, Friend, Wilber

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

Total Irrigation/Livestock Wells: 1,362

Surface Water Diversions (Irrigation): 313

Click for real time:

Streamflow data on the Big Blue River near Crete

Groundwater level data at W. Line St. & W 11th St. in Dorchester

Groundwater level data near NE Hwy 41 & County Rd. 1200 (6 mi. north of the village of Western)

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: $0.3133 per $100 of taxable valuation

County property taxes levied: $7,797,336

Total local government property taxes levied: $38,300,248

Total countywide taxable valuation: $2,488,800,127

Click here for all levy rates in Saline 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 Brandt (District 32)

Standing Committees (click for scheduled committee hearings): 

Map and statistics for Legislative District 32

Map of all districts in the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature

Saline County History

Number of Registered Historic Places: 20

Year Authorized: 1855

Year Organized: 1867

Etymology: Mistakenly named for apocryphal salt springs and deposits in the area

Saline County was created by an act of the Territorial Legislature in January 1855 and was officially organized in February 1867, the year Nebraska was admitted to the Union. The county derives its name from a belief held by the early pioneers that great salt springs and deposits could be found in the area. The pioneers' supposition, however, proved to be false.

At the time Saline County was organized, the settlement of Swan City was designated to serve as the county seat. This settlement was located just west of the present day DeWitt. Swan City would be the first of three sites that would serve as the home of the county's government.

In 1871 an election was called to settle a contest that had developed over where the county seat should be located. Vying for the honor were Swan City, Crete, Dorchester and Pleasant Hill. Voters selected the latter settlement and in July of that year county records were moved from Swan City to Pleasant Hill.

Within six years this issue would surface once more and a special election would be called for Sept. 4, 1877. In the first of what would be three elections that year, Pleasant Hill, Crete, Wilber, Dorchester, Friend and Center competed. Since none of the sites received a majority vote, another election was held two weeks later. This time voters were asked to choose from Pleasant Hill, Crete and Wilber. Once again a majority was not gained by any of the three and the election served only to eliminate Pleasant Hill. Finally, during the Nov. 6 general election, Wilber won out over Crete with a majority of 230 votes.

Pleasant Hill would not easily relinquish the county records, however. On Jan. 28, 1878, a contingent of 300 people representing Wilber drove 160 wagons and teams to Pleasant Hill to secure the records. Due to this show of strength and force, Pleasant Hill finally succumbed.

The cornerstone for the present courthouse in Wilber was laid on June 5, 1928 and 12 months later the building was formally dedicated.

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Communities and Development

License Plate Number: 22

Time Zone: Central

Number of Veterans: 725

Zoned County: Yes

Number of County-Owned Bridges: 253

Number of County-Owned Dams: 1

Election Data

General Election Turnout (2022): 48.85%

Total Registered Voters (2020): 8,034

Number of Precincts (2020): 12

Number of Election Day Polling Places (2020): 11

Land Area per Polling Place (avg.) (2020): 52.19 sq. miles

Intergovernmental Data

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

Natural Resource Districts: Lower Big Blue NRD, Upper Big Blue NRD

State Lands (acres): Divoky Acres WMA (160), Swan Creek WMA (160)

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)