Articles Posted in Tax Law

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Several indoor tanning salons filed claims for tax refunds with the Department of Revenue for admissions taxes. Apparently, in 2012, the Attorney General’s office had issued an opinion that Neb. Rev. Stat. 77-2703(1) did not authorize subjecting tanning salons to admissions taxes. The Department has since repealed the regulation listing tanning salons among the businesses subject to the tax and has ceased collecting the tax. The Tax Commissioner disallowed the claims, stating that “[a] refund of a tax improperly or erroneously collected can only be issued by the State directly to the purchaser who paid the tax.” The district court consolidated the cases and affirmed. The Nebraska Supreme Court affirmed, agreeing that the salon customers were the taxpayers of the admissions tax. View "Aline Bae Tanning, Inc. v. Neb. Dep't. of Revenue" on Justia Law

Posted in: Tax Law

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In 2011, Cheyenne County conducted its annual tax sale. Rather than using a traditional “round robin” format at the sale, the county treasurer used the “bid down” format provided by Neb. Rev. Stat. 77-1807. Adair Asset Management, LLC purchased a tax sale certificate on certain real estate, now owned by Terry’s Legacy, LLC, after offering to pay the taxes due for a one percent undivided interest in the property. After paying delinquent taxes on the property, Adair filed a complaint and obtained a decree judicially foreclosing the lien provided by the tax sale certificate. The complaint alleged that there was a potential claim against the property by First State Bank. The subsequent decree, in effect, ordered a sale of a 100-percent interest in the property. Terry’s Legacy appealed, arguing that the district court erred by failing to determine that it retained a ninety-nine-percent interest in the property. The Supreme Court modified the decree of foreclosure to apply only to Adair’s undivided one percent interest in the property and, as so modified, affirmed, holding that Adair’s lien to be foreclosed is limited to one percent of the property. Remanded. View "Adair Asset Mgmt., LLC v. Terry’s Legacy, LLC" on Justia Law

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Neb. Rev. Stat. 77-1502(2) imposes a requirement and specifies a consequence for its violation. In this case, a taxpayer filed a property valuation protest. The taxpayer’s protest form specified the assessed and requested valuation amounts but stated no reason for the requested change. The Lincoln County Board of Equalization dismissed the protest, citing section 77-1502(2). The taxpayer appealed to the Nebraska Tax Equalization and Review Commission (TERC). TERC dismissed the appeal with prejudice, concluding that it lacked jurisdiction because the Board did not have jurisdiction to hear the protest due to the taxpayer’s failure to state the reason for the protest. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the Board correctly dismissed the taxpayer’s protest because the protest failed to include a reason for the requested change in valuation; and (2) because the Board lacked authority to hear the taxpayer’s property valuation protest on the merits, TERC likewise lacked authority to do so. View "Village at North Platte v. Lincoln County Bd. of Equalization" on Justia Law

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In 2012, as the result of a change in the way the Custer County assessor classified irrigated grassland for purposes of valuation, the assessor increased the assessed value of the property owned by Appellant from $734,968 to $1,834,924. Appellant filed petitions with the Tax Equalization and Review Commission (TERC) pursuant to Neb. Rev. Stat. 77-1507.01 challenging the valuation increase. After two separate hearings on Appellant’s petitions, TERC affirmed the assessor’s valuations for 2012. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that TERC’s consideration of Appellant’s petitions using the appellate standard of review described in Nev. Rev. Stat. 77-5016(9) constituted plain error. Remanded. View "Cain v. Custer County Bd. of Equalization" on Justia Law

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Pursuant to the Nebraska Advantage Act, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) entered an agreement with the Tax Commissioner with the aim of using incentives set forth in the Act for a project in Platte County. ADM sought a personal property tax exemption for the year 2010 under the Act for property involving agricultural processing equipment. The Department denied the exemption on the grounds that the personal property tax exemption claim had not been timely filed. The Tax Equalization Review Commission (TERC) affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) ADM did not timely file its claim for a personal property tax exemption for the subject property, and therefore ADM was not entitled to the exemption; and (2) TERC did not err when it affirmed the order of the Tax Commission denying ADM’s protest. View "Archer Daniels Midland Co. v. State" on Justia Law

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After voters in School District rejected a bond proposal to construct an addition to existing high school building, School District entered into a lease-purchase agreement with Bank, which agreed to finance the project. Appellants, residents and taxpayers in the school district, sought declaratory and injunctive relief contending that the agreement violated Neb. Rev. Stat. 79-10,105. The trial court denied relief, concluding (1) under section 79-10,105, lease-purchase agreements may be used to make school improvements without the voters’ approval if the project is not funded by bonded debt; and (2) School District in this case did not fund the project through bonded indebtedness. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Appellants’ claims were moot because, as of the time of this appeal, the addition had been completed, but the public interest exception to the mootness doctrine applied; and (2) section 79-10,105 does not prohibit a school district from entering into a lease-purchase agreement to finance a capital construction project if it has not created a nonprofit corporation to issue bonds for the school district, and because there was no evidence that this occurred in this case, School District did not violate section 79-10,105 by entering into the lease-purchase agreement with Bank. View "Nebuda v. Dodge County Sch. Dist. 0062" on Justia Law

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Taxpayer timely filed a 2010 personal property tax return properly listing certain taxable property. The property, however, was not placed on the tax rolls. In 2013, the Colfax County Board of Equalization placed the personal property back on the tax rolls. Taxpayer appealed. The Tax Equalization and Review Commission ultimately decided that the Board’s action was void on the grounds that the Board did not have authority to place the items of personal property on the tax rolls, thereby reversing and vacating the Board’s decision. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the Board’s action in placing Taxpayer’s personal property on the tax rolls for 2010 was void because it lacked statutory authority to do so under Neb. Rev. Stat. 77-1507(1). View "Cargill Meat Solutions Corp. v. Colfax County Bd. of Equalization" on Justia Law

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Between 2004 and 2009, Valpak of Omaha, LLC (“Valpak”) paid more than $5.5 million to Val-pak Direct Marketing Systems, Inc. (“Direct Marketing”) to print direct mail advertisements and distribute them around Omaha, Nebraska. The Nebraska Department of Revenue assessed use taxes on that amount. Valpak asked the Tax Commissioner for a redetermination that no taxes were due, arguing that its payments to Direct Marketing were not transactions that were subject to use taxes under Nebraska law. The Tax Commissioner denied Valpak’s petitions for redetermination, concluding that Valpak was subject to use taxes under the Department’s sales and use tax regulations. The district court affirmed. The Supreme Court also affirmed, holding that Valpak was an advertising agency and was liable for use taxes on its payment to Direct Marketing. View "Valpak of Omaha, LLC v. Neb. Dep’t of Revenue" on Justia Law

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For the tax year 2011, the county assessor decided to assess property taxes on parcel of land owned by Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District (Central) but leased to private parties. Central protested the tax assessment, and the Board of Equalization recommended not taxing the land. The Tax Equalization and Review Commission (TERC) affirmed, concluding that the parcels should not be taxed because Central had already made a payment in lieu of tax pursuant to Neb. Const. art. VIII, 11 for the relevant tax year. The Supreme Court (1) affirmed TERC’s finding that Central was not subject to property taxes for tax year 2011 because it had already made a payment in lieu of tax for that year; but (2) vacated the portion of TERC’s order that could be interpreted to mean that a lessee’s property tax obligation is included in Central’s payment in lieu of tax, as the issue of a lessee’s liability was not before TERC. View "Conroy v. Keith County Bd. of Equalization" on Justia Law

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Kerford Limestone Co. purchased a motor grader for use in its manufacturing business and claimed an exemption from sales and use tax on the purchase. The State Tax Commissioner concluded that Kerford had failed to prove the motor grader was exempt manufacturing machinery and equipment. The district court (1) reversed the Commissioner’s determination that to qualify for an exemption, Kerford was required to show that the motor grader was used in manufacturing at least fifty percent of the time; (2) affirmed the Commissioner’s determination that Kerford’s use of the motor grader to maintain “haul roads” was not an exempt use; and (3) remanded for a determination of whether use of the motor grader to maintain inventory stockpile areas qualified Kerford for an exemption. The Supreme Court reversed the portion of the district court’s order that remanded the cause for further proceedings, holding (1) Kerford’s use of the motor grader to maintain inventory stockpile areas was a use in manufacturing; and (2) therefore, Kerford was entitled to an exemption from sales and use tax on its purchase of the motor grader. Remanded to the district court with direction to enter an order granting Kerford the exemption. View "Kerford Limestone Co. v. Neb. Dep't of Revenue" on Justia Law