Offutt Housing Co. v. County of Sarpy,
351 U.S. 253 (1956)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Offutt Housing Co. v. County of Sarpy, 351 U.S. 253 (1956)

Offutt Housing Co. v. County of Sarpy

No. 404

Argued April 26, 30, 1956

Decided May 28, 1956

351 U.S. 253


Petitioner entered into a contract with the Secretary of the Air Force, under which petitioner leased from the Government land on an Air Force base in Nebraska and built thereon housing accommodations to be rented by petitioner to military and civilian personnel of the base under strict governmental control. The lease was for a term of 75 years at nominal rental, and provided that the buildings and improvements erected by petitioner should become part of the real estate and that, upon expiration or termination of the lease, all improvements made upon the leased premises should remain the property of the Government without compensation. The estimated useful life of the buildings and improvements was only 35 years. The Nebraska county in which the base was located assessed against petitioner "personal property" taxes on the buildings, improvements, appliances, and furniture erected or provided by petitioner on the premises.


1. By the Military Leasing Act of 1947 and the Wherry Military Housing Act of 1949, Congress consented to state taxation of petitioner's interest as lessee, though the area involved is subject to the federal power of "exclusive Legislation." Pp. 351 U. S. 257-261.

2. In the circumstances of this case, the full value of the buildings and improvements is attributable to the lessee's interest. Pp. 351 U. S. 261-262.

3. Petitioner's interest in the appliances is subject to the state tax in like manner as its interest in the buildings. P. 351 U. S. 262.

160 Neb. 320, 70 N.W.2d 382, affirmed.

Page 351 U. S. 254

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