Kiplinger v. Neb. Dep't of Natural Res.Annotate this Case
This case involved a constitutional challenge to an occupation tax levied pursuant to Neb. Rev. Stat. 2-3226.05. Appellant landowners, who were residents and taxpayers of natural resources districts in the Republican River basin, brought an action for declaratory and injunctive relief seeking to have the occupation tax declared unconstitutional and its levy and collection enjoined. The district court upheld the constitutionality of the occupation tax, determining that it did not violate the Nebraska Constitution as (1) the occupation tax was not a property tax but, rather, an excise tax levied upon the activity of irrigation; (2) the occupation tax did not result in a commutation of taxes; and (3) section 2-3226.05 was not special legislation. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the judgment in Garey v. Nebraska Department of Natural Resources did not bar this action under the doctrine of res judicata; and (2) the landowners did not meet their burden of establishing that the occupation tax was unconstitutional.