Court Keeps Neb. Campground Tax-Free

December 16, 2013 by   - () Comments Off on Court Keeps Neb. Campground Tax-Free

Pioneer Village now can add a favorable Nebraska Supreme Court ruling to its vast collection of 50,000 American artifacts.

The court on Friday (Dec. 13) said the Minden, Neb., museum can keep a tax exemption for its adjacent motel and RV campground, the Omaha World-Herald reported. The annual exemption saves Pioneer Village about $28,000, considered a make-or-break amount for a museum that has lost money and attendance in recent years.

Harold G. Warp of Chicago, the son of the museum’s founder, said Friday that had the court ruled the other way, he likely would have been forced to close the 60-year-old attraction.

He said he will no longer consider Friday the 13th bad luck.

“That makes my year,” Warp said. “This is a great relief. One less battle we have to fight.”

Since the privately owned museum was turned over to a nonprofit foundation in 1983, its tax-exempt status has extended to the motel and RV park. Profits from the lodging ventures help subsidize the museum, which can’t cover costs with admission fees alone.

The sheer size of the shrine to American ingenuity — 50,000 items displayed in 28 buildings on 20 acres — often overwhelms casual visitors. But in the view of Supreme Court judges, it bolstered the museum’s argument. The judges determined visitors who want to carefully view the collection need a convenient place to stay overnight.

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