- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 21, 2017

WOOD RIVER, Neb. (AP) - A state panel has upheld Hall County’s refusal to exempt from property taxes the land and buildings of the Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center near Wood River.

The Nebraska State Tax Equalization and Review Commission last week ruled against the Platte River Whooping Crane Maintenance Trust. Hall County had argued that some of the trust’s land was leased to agricultural operators. Trust officials have said the lease money sustains the trust’s charitable mission.

The county also had argued that the Nebraska Legislature has not created an exemption for conservation activities.

The commission said in its ruling that some jurisdictions in other states have concluded that conserving property for habitat and wildlife is a charitable use, “the commission is not persuaded that such lands should be exempt without legislative action.”

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