The assessed value of yogurt company Chobani’s Twin Falls plant is $216 million higher than it should be, company officials said.
the Twin Falls County assessor’s office had initially valued the property at more than $495 million, the Times-News reported . The assessment was lowered to $424 million after the company appealed, according to court records.
But Chobani argues the total value of its real and personal property is just $176 million.
The Idaho Board of Tax Appeals disagreed with the company’s assessment, but in April modified the value to nearly $393 million.
Now, the yogurt manufacturer has taken its case to district court.
“Through this process, we’ve concluded that we’re spending more on taxes than the fair cost, partly due to our approach to build a plant for the future which is not at full utilization,” Michael Gonda, Chobani’s senior vice president of corporate affairs, said in a statement.
Twin Falls County and Chobani could still potentially settle outside of court, or the issue may come before a jury in a trial scheduled for June 2019.
“The assessor has been working diligently with Chobani,” County Commissioner Don Hall said. “These are fairly complex properties to appraise and evaluate.”
Twin Falls County Assessor Brad Wills declined to comment.
Chobani’s appraisal called for a lower valuation because the inflated construction costs when the plant was built. Chobani paid more for construction to get the plant completed in less than a year.
“The court will have to decide how restricting those limiting factors are,” Twin Falls County Commissioner Terry Kramer said.