OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A central Nebraska tourist attraction that celebrates the state's pioneer roots will be able to keep tax exemptions for its adjacent motel and campground facilities, the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled Friday.
The Nebraska Supreme Court reversed a decision in 2011 by the Nebraska Tax Equalization and Review Commission, also known as TERC, that said Pioneer Village Museum's motel and campgrounds in Minden should not get the same property tax exemptions as the museum.
Pioneer Village Museum touts itself as having the world's largest private collection of Americana, with approximately 50,000 exhibits in 28 buildings on 20 acres of land.
The commission's reasoning for denying the exemption was that, unlike the museum, the motel and campgrounds are not used for educational purposes and therefore aren't eligible for tax exemptions.
But the state's high court said that the museum's collection is so extensive that it takes more than a day to see, making the motel and campgrounds necessary to accomplish the educational purposes of the museum. And that is enough to grant the facilities tax-exempt status, the high court said.
Dan Aschwege, the attorney for the museum's foundation, said Friday's opinion was welcomed news for the museum and the small town of Minden's economy.