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Nebraska Counties Explorer

Scotts Bluff County

Communities and Development

Scotts Bluff County Seat (pop.): Gering

Total County Population (2020): 36,084

  • Cities (pop. & class): Gering (8,564 • 1st Class), Minatare (715 • 2nd Class), Mitchell (1,548 • 2nd Class), Scottsbluff (14,436 • 1st Class), Terrytown (1,057 • 2nd Class)
  • Villages (pop.): Henry (125), Lyman (259), McGrew (75), Melbeta (108), Morrill (934)
  • Unincorporated Pop. (% of county pop.): 8,263 (23%)

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

  • Agriculture: 81%
    • By method: Pasture (pure grassland) (40%); Irrigated (row crop/grain/forage) (35%); Dryland (row crop/grain/forage) (6%) • Neb. Dept. of Rev. - total equals agriculture's %
    • By commodity: Livestock (grassland) 46%, Corn 19%, Alfalfa 12%, Dry Beans 5%, Wheat 2%, Sugar beets 1%, Other Hay 1% • USDA - equals agriculture's % plus some wetlands (4%) and some fallow land (1%) and minus public grassland/wetlands and reserve
  • Residential, Commercial, Industrial, Conservation Reserve & Exempt (combined): 19%

County Offices

Courthouse Address and Hours:

1725 10th Street
Gering, Nebraska 69341
M-F 8:00 am - 4:30 pm

Administration Building Address and Hours:

1825 10th Street
Gering, Nebraska 69341
M-F 8:00 am - 4:30 pm

County Board Chairperson: Ken Meyer

Complete list of county board members

County Board Meetings: 1st & 3rd Monday

View the County's Government Maps

Visit the County Fairgrounds

NACO District: Panhandle

District President: Rich Flores, Kimball County Commissioner

District Vice President: Susanna Batterman, Morrill County Commissioner

District Secretary: Kelly Sides, Scotts Bluff County Clerk

District Treasurer: Beth Fiegenschuh, Cheyenne County Clerk

NACO Board Representatives: Steve Burke, Box Butte County Commissioner

Click for a live look at Scotts Bluff County (west of Scottsbluff)


Population: 36,084
Land area (sq. mi.): 739.61
Population per square mile: 48.8

Race and Age


White: 71.3%
African American: 0.6%
American Indian: 1.3%
Asian: 0.8%
Hispanic: 22.7%
Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 0.1%
Two or More Races: 3.0%


0-17: 24.8%
18-64: 55.5%
65+: 19.7%


Personal income per capita: $51,337
% of Population in Poverty: 12.4%
# of Housing Units: 16,494
Owner-occupied rate: 67.4%
Median home price: $154,020


Access to broadband (100 Mbps via fiber or cable modem): 82.9%

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

Employment, Schools, and Child Care

Unemployment rate: 2.2% (as of September 2022)

County Employment Website:

High school graduate or higher: 88.7%

School Districts: Banner County Public Schools, Bayard Public Schools, Gering public Schools, Minatare Public Schools, Mitchell Public Schools, Morrill Public Schools, Scottsbluff Public Schools

Bachelor's degree or higher: 23.1%

Community College Service Area: Western Community College

Countywide child care capacity: 51 providers; 1,884 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.

Scotts Bluff County

Annual Gross Domestic Product (2020): $1,745,281,000

Cattle Producers: 237

  • Pastureland Cash Rent (avg.): $14/acre

Crop Producers: 489

  • Irrigated Land Cash Rent (avg.): $184/acre

Grain Co-ops and Purchasers: Crossroads Cooperative, Panhandle Coop System, WESTCO

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

Farmers Markets: 

  • 18th Street Farmers Market (Scottsbluff) (June - September, Saturdays 8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.)
  • Gering Farmers Market (July - September, Thursdays 5:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.)
  • Mitchell Market (June - October (except Aug. 13th), Saturdays 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.)
  • Morrill Farmers Market (Mid-July - October, Tuesdays 3:00 - 6:00 p.m. and Saturdays 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.)
  • Scottsbluff Winter Farmers Market (through March, Saturdays 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 pm)

Oil Wells Producing (barrels of oil/yr): 5 wells (8,959 barrels)

Electricity Providers: Chimney Rock PPD, City of Gering, City of Mitchell, Nebraska PPD, Roosevelt PPD, Village of Lyman, Village of Morrill, Wyrulec Company

Wind Turbines Operating (MW): 1 turbine (MW unknown)

Rail-served Communities: Gering, Henry, Lyman, Minatare, Mitchell, McGrew, Melbeta, Morrill, Scottsbluff, Terrytown

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

Total Irrigation/Livestock Wells: 951

Surface Water Diversions (Irrigation): 114

Click for real time:

Streamflow data on the North Platte River at Scottsbluff

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: $0.4047 per $100 of taxable valuation

County property taxes levied: $13,186,913

Total local government property taxes levied: $66,603,160

Total countywide taxable valuation: $3,258,371,156

Federal PILT payment to Scotts Bluff County (FY2022): $30,378 regarding 10,340 federally-owned acres

Click here for all levy rates in Scotts Bluff 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: Brian Hardin (District 48)

Standing Committees (click for scheduled committee hearings): 

Map and statistics for Legislative District 48

Map of all districts in the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature

Scotts Bluff County History

Number of Registered Historic Places: 21

Year Authorized: 1888

Year Organized: 1888

Etymology: Nearby bluff formations and Hiram Scott, a fur trader who reportedly died at the foot of the formations

Scotts Bluff County is one of just two counties in Nebraska to receive its name from a local landmark. In this case it is a towering bluff located near the county seat of Gering. Known as the Scotts Bluff National Monument, its history is significant to this area of the Panhandle.

The bluff was named after fur trapper Hiram Scott. History accounts indicate that Scott was part of a trapping party headed up the North Platte River Valley. When he and two other trappers became ill, they were left behind to return downstream by boat. Along the way the boat capsized and the three, who lost all supplies, began walking. Scott fell and broke his leg. Once again he was left behind. The following spring Scott's skeleton was found at the foot the bluff that bears his name. He had apparently crawled 75 miles before he died.

Scotts Bluff County was originally part of the Louisiana Purchase and eventually part of Cheyenne County, which made up the southern half of the Nebraska Panhandle when the state was admitted to the Union in 1867. In an 1888 vote, Scotts Bluff County was formed. Gering, which was founded the previous year, was named the county seat.

The Oregon Trail, Mormon Trail and Pony Express Route brought early travelers and settlers to the area. But it was actually the railroads which spurred the greatest growth. The Chicago, Burlington and Quincy was built through the townsite of Scottsbluff in the early 1900s. It was not until 1911 that the Union Pacific Railroad came to Gering. Despite the two communities being separated only by the North Platte River, this fact resulted in Scottsbluff growing at a faster pace. Today, Scottsbluff and Gering combine to serve as a central retail hub for a 150-mile radius.

The lush North Platte River Valley that runs from northwest to southeast across the county is prime crop production land. Principal crops today include sugar beets, alfalfa, corn, pinto and northern beans, wheat and potatoes. Additionally, livestock production is another vital part of the county's economy.

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Local Highlights

License Plate Number: 21

Time Zone: Mountain

Number of Veterans: 2,306

Zoned County: Yes

Number of County-Owned Bridges: 199

Election Data

General Election Turnout (2022): 41.55%

Total Registered Voters (2020): 24,473

Number of Precincts (2020): 30

Number of Election Day Polling Places (2020): 21

Land Area per Polling Place (avg.) (2020): 35.22 sq. miles

Intergovernmental Data

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

Natural Resource District: North Platte NRD

State Lands (acres): Buffalo Creek WMA (4,141.32 Banner & Scotts Bluff), Cedar Canyon WMA (2,200), Kiowa WMA (505.30), Miniature Lake SRA (2,400), Mitchell Ag Lab (269), Montz Point WMA (814.58), Nine Mile Creek WMA (180), Wildcat Hills SRA (Banner & Scotts Bluff), Wildcat Hills WMA (190.19)

Federal Lands (acres): North Platte NWR (2,909)

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)