MINDEN — Reversing the Dec. 13, 2011, decision of Kearney County District Court Judge Stephen Illingworth, the Nebraska Supreme Court announced Friday morning Kearney County did not have to repay KAAPA Ethanol LLC. nearly $500,000.
Officials from the ethanol plant west of Minden sought a $480,411.50 refund from the county, a portion of its 2006 personal property taxes, alleging the taxes were paid as the result of an "honest mistake or misunderstanding." Illingworth agreed with the company's argument.
KAAPA filed a claim for a tax refund with the Kearney County treasurer arguing it paid taxes on processing equipment in 2006 twice because the equipment was classified as personal property by KAAPA and as real property by the county assessor.
The nine-page Supreme Court ruling states that the mistake KAAPA made filing the 2006 property tax is one of law and not one of fact, and therefore the overpayment to the county is not refundable.