The State Tax Commission recently ruled that Branson Sports Club Inc. is not exempt from property taxes, upholding a decision by the Taney County Board of Equalization.
“I think the decision came down in the letter of the law,” said James Strahan, Taney County Assessor. “The board of equalization originally sided with (club owners Larry and Pam Dapprich), then there was some political maneuvering and the board changed their mind before they adjourned.”
Strahan put the business back on the books the following year and the board this time agreed the business was not exempt.
“I may be wrong, but that’s why I sent it on to the courts,” Strahan said.
Larry Dapprich said they plan to appeal the decision, and have hired an attorney they believe will present the proper evidence.
“There was no evidence given to them,” he said. “Just being a 501c3 doesn’t automatically qualify you, but I believe we meet all the requirements.”
The assessed value of the property for 2011 and 2012 is set at $218,110.
The Dappriches argue the organization is “for the purpose of conducting in and on such premises a lawful non-profit business and for no other purpose” according to their ground lease.
The commission ruled the exemption was not proven.
“Complainant’s evidence was not substantial and persuasive to rebut the presumption of correct assessment by the (board of equalization) and establish the subject property to be exempt from taxation,” according to the commission's ruling.