Neb. Supreme Court Rules Pioneer Village Motel and Campgrounds - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

Neb. Supreme Court Rules Pioneer Village Motel and Campgrounds Exempt from Property Taxes

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The Nebraska Supreme Court has decided the motel and campgrounds adjacent to the Pioneer Village museum in Minden are "beneficial to the museum and reasonably necessary to further its educational mission," thus ruling them entitled to property tax exemptions.

On Friday, the court reversed a 2011 decision by the Nebraska Tax Equalization and Review Commission that said the Pioneer Village motel and campgrounds should not receive the same property tax exemptions as the museum.

The commission argued that lodging locations were not used solely for educational purposes and therefore did not qualify for the exemption.

However the court found that because the museum's collection of 50,000 exhibits is so extensive and would take more than a week to see it all, the motel and campgrounds are necessary to accomplish the educational purposes of the museum and should be tax exempt.

Court documents say around 30 percent of the museum's visitors spend more than one day to view the exhibits.

The motel and campground are open to the public, but according to court documents, their primary purpose is to lodge people visiting the museum. The records state in 2010, just over 4 percent of people staying at the motel and campground did not visit the museum.

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