Crete Carrier Corp. owners must pay Nebraska income taxes, court rules

December 16, 2022

Chuck Robinson


Though the owners of Lincoln, Neb.-based Crete Carrier Corp. claimed to be Florida residents for several years, the Nebraska Supreme Court has ruled they must pay Nebraska income taxes for those years.

Florida has no state individual income tax.

The Nebraska Supreme Court confirmed a district court’s ruling that the state’s Department of Revenue decision was legitimate and that the owners had not proved they were Florida residents.

Phyllis and Duane Acklie bought Crete Carrier Corp. in 1971 and grew the company into one of the largest privately owned trucking companies in the U.S. Duane Acklie was chairman of Crete Carrier Corp. when he died in 2016. Phyllis was vice president, secretary and board member.

Both were born in Nebraska in the 1930s and owned a residence in Lincoln during the audit period. They also owned several investment properties in Lancaster County, Nebraska, and property elsewhere in Nebraska and other states.

Florida residency claims

In 2008, they bought a home in Florida, obtained Florida driver’s licenses, registered vehicles in Florida and registered to vote in Florida. When they updated their passports in 2012, they identified Florida as their residence.

In addition, in 2013 Duane Acklie executed codicil to a will created in 2010 in Nebraska. The codicil, which is basically a modification to a will, renounced his Nebraska residency and said Florida was their residence.

Reasons for rejecting the Acklies’ Florida residency

Despite the claims, in auditing the tax years of 2010-14, the Nebraska Department of Revenue found that the Acklies:

  • Maintained two residences in Nebraska.
  • Registered vehicles and watercraft in Nebraska.
  • Were listed as salaried Nebraska employees in the Crete Carrier Corp. office in filings with the Department or Revenue.
  • Maintained large real estate holdings in Nebraska and received taxable income from them.
  • Had property tax statements mailed to addresses in Lincoln.
  • Spent more than six months of each year in Nebraska except for 2014.
  • Used Lincoln as their base for travel.

The Nebraska Supreme Court ruled the Department of Revenue had made a reasonable decision and the district court’s factual findings were supported by competent evidence.

“The district court’s decision that both Duane and Phyllis failed to prove they changed their domicile from Nebraska to Florida for any of the tax years within the audit period conforms to the law, is supported by competent evidence, and is neither arbitrary, capricious, nor unreasonable,” the high court said in concluding its decision.

Read the decision here.

Crete Carrier is the flagship business, Dun & Bradstreet reports. It provides dry van truckload freight transportation services in the 48 contiguous states. It operates from some two dozen terminals, mainly in the Midwest and Southeastern U.S. The company’s Shaffer Trucking unit transports temperature-controlled cargo, and Hunt Transportation (no relation to J.B. Hunt Transport Services) hauls heavy equipment and other cargo on flatbed. LL

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