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County loses lawsuit, thousands of dollars





Ellis County Appraiser Lisa Ree detailed to county commissioners in their regular meeting Monday at the Ellis County Courthouse why the county will have to give a tax rebate back in the amount of $656,000 to Wedge Log-Tech LLC.

“It took five and a half years to get that decided,” Ree said of court litigation.

The county lost a lawsuit, which resulted in wireline equipment being reclassified as oil and gas equipment, and thereby exempt from personal property tax, Ellis County Administrator Greg Sund said in his meeting memo to commissioners. As a result, the county will be rebating personal property taxes paid by the company from 2008 through 2013.

There are four other wireline companies in the county, said Commissioner Swede Holmgren. Sund said those companies also could go through the appeals process and get a rebate.

“It probably is a step up that they might, because now that they’ve got a company that’s gone through it — and they’ve been successful — the chances of (other companies) trying probably go up,” Sund said after the meeting.

Sund told commissioners in his memo rebates such as this one will have a dramatic effect on the finances for the county and USD 489. He was unsure of the exact amount that will affect both entities financially, but he hoped to have those numbers in the near future.

“I’ve also communicated with the school district to make sure they know this is coming,” he said.

“Those five wireline companies, for (2014), we’ll lose over $2 million assessed,” Ree said.