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Court decides university apartments tax-exempt

Feb 9, 2016 By Mead Gruver, The Associated Press

LARAMIE (AP) -- A district judge has sided with the University of Wyoming in the college's dispute over property taxes on a student apartment complex.

In a decision filed Jan. 29, Judge Jeffrey Donnell ruled that the Bison Run Village, a 9.14-acre on-campus apartment complex, is exempt from local property taxes under Wyoming statute.

The university contends Bison Run is tax-exempt and expressed concern taxing the property would set a precedent for other UW apartment complexes, such as Landmark Village Apartments, River Village Apartments and Spanish Walk Apartments.

But Albany County Assessor Grant Showacre argued Wyoming statutes and Department of Revenue regulations clearly indicate the property should be taxed because the Bison Run complex is run as a commercial enterprise, the Laramie Boomerang reported.

The university manages and operates the complex but does not own it. In order to build the complex, the university it had to enter into a complex financing arrangement with a nonprofit corporation that helps colleges finance campus housing.

In November 2013, the Albany County Board of Equalization determined in a 2-1 decision that the property is not subject to county property taxes.

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