Articles Posted in Nebraska Supreme Court

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The legislature has not enacted any statute that exempts fraternal benefit societies from paying sales and use tax. Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Society, a Nebraska fraternal benefit society, requested an exemption from sales and use taxes from the Nebraska Department of Revenue (NDOR) and sought a refund of more than $2 million in sales and use taxes previously paid. NDOR denied Woodmen’s application. The Tax Commissioner upheld the determination. The district court affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) neither Neb. Rev. Stat. 77-2704.12(1) nor Neb. Rev. Stat. 44-1095 exempted Woodmen from sales and use tax; (2) Woodmen was not denied due process before the Tax Commissioner; and (3) the hearing officer did not abuse her discretion in excluding certain expert testimony. View "Woodmen of the World v. Nebraska Department of Revenue" on Justia Law

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At issue was whether the Platte River Whooping Crane Maintenance Trust, Inc. ("Crane Trust") was a charitable organization within the meaning of Neb. Rev. Stat. 77-202(1)(d). The Crane Trust sought a property tax exemption for six parcels of land ("subject properties") for tax year 2015. The Hall County Board of Equalization denied the application for a property tax exemption for the subject properties without giving an explanation. The Nebraska Tax Equalization and Review Commission ("TERC") affirmed the Board’s decision. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the subject properties met the requirements for a charitable tax exemption under section 77-202(1)(d). View "Platte River Crane Trust v. Hall County Board of Equalization" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the order of the Tax Equalization and Review Commission (TERC) affirming the decision of the Custer County Assessor regarding the 2012 taxable value of Donald V. Cain, Jr.’s agricultural property. On appeal, Cain argued, among other things, that the TERC violated his due process rights by not permitting him to argue how the preponderance of the evidence standard of proof applied to the adduced evidence. The court held (1) Cain waived the due process rights applicable in Liljestrand v. Dell Enterprises, 842 N.W.2d 575 (2014); and (2) TERC erred in affirming the Assessor’s valuations of Cain’s property for the 2012 tax year. View "Cain v. Custer County Board of Equalization" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the order of the Tax Equalization and Review Commission (TERC) affirming the decision of the Custer County Assessor regarding the 2012 taxable value of Donald V. Cain, Jr.’s agricultural property. On appeal, Cain argued, among other things, that the TERC violated his due process rights by not permitting him to argue how the preponderance of the evidence standard of proof applied to the adduced evidence. The court held (1) Cain waived the due process rights applicable in Liljestrand v. Dell Enterprises, 842 N.W.2d 575 (2014); and (2) TERC erred in affirming the Assessor’s valuations of Cain’s property for the 2012 tax year. View "Cain v. Custer County Board of Equalization" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the district court concluding that the Nebraska Department of Labor’s action intercepting Appellee’s tax refund from the state to partially pay a judgment determining that Appellee had been overpaid for unemployment benefits was barred by the relevant statute of limitations. An appeal tribunal, citing Neb. Rev. Stat. 25-218, concluded that the Department’s action was barred by a four-year statute of limitations. The district court affirmed. The Supreme Court held that there was no time limitation barring the Department’s interception of Appellee’s state income tax refund to offset his unemployment benefit overpayment under Neb. Rev. Stat. 48-665(1)(c) and therefore reversed. View "McCoy v. Albin" on Justia Law

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At issue in this case was the adjustment of the valuation of three subclasses of residential real property in Douglas County. The Tax Equalization and Review Commission (TERC) issued an order to show cause why it should not increase the valuation of two properties by seven percent and decrease the valuation of a third property by eight percent. TERC voted to adjust the valuations. Douglas County filed a motion to reconsider, which the TERC commissioners overruled. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding (1) TERC’s order to decrease the valuation of one property by eight percent was not supported by competent evidence and was arbitrary, capricious, and unreasonable; (2) TERC’s order to increase the valuation of the other two properties was supported by competent evidence and was not arbitrary, capricious, and unreasonable; and (3) TERC did not abuse its discretion by denying Douglas County’s motion to reconsider its order. View "County of Douglas v. Nebraska Tax Equalization & Review Commission" on Justia Law

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The Nebraska Department of Revenue and the acting Tax Commissioner denied, in part, the requested refunds of Farmers Cooperative and Frontier Cooperative Co. (collectively, the Cooperatives). The district court affirmed. The Cooperatives sought refunds of sales and use taxes paid on the purchase of repairs and parts for agricultural machinery and equipment under Neb. Rev. Stat. 77-2708.01. At issue in these consolidated appeals was how the phrase “depreciable repairs or parts” within section 77-2708.01 should be interpreted. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court did not err in affirming the partial denial of the Cooperatives’ requested refunds based upon its interpretation of section 77-2708.01. View "Farmers Cooperative v. State" on Justia Law

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Two taxpayers sold their capital stock of a corporation and structured the transaction to comply with the terms of a definitional statute in order to qualify for a special capital gains election. The Nebraska Department of Revenue disallowed the taxpayers’ special capital gains election. The taxpayers filed a petition for redetermination, and the Tax Commissioner denied the petition. The district court affirmed. The taxpayers appealed, asserting that the district court erred in applying the “economic substance” and “sham transaction” doctrines in determining whether they were entitled to the special capital gains election. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the economic substance doctrine and the sham transaction doctrines did not provide a basis to disallow the taxpayers’ election. Remanded. View "Stewart v. Nebraska Dep’t of Revenue" on Justia 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

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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