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In December 2012, the New York-based Greek yogurt company began making yogurt at it’s new manufacturing facility in Twin Falls, Idaho.The company announced in 2011 plans to build it’s second U.S. manufacturing plant. Chobani chose Twin Falls. The company has said it plans to hire up to 500 people once the facility starts operating at full capacity.Hamdi Ulukaya founded the Chobani Greek Yogurt company in 2005. According to Chobani’s website, Ulukaya threw himself into the yogurt business after he saw an ad for a recently shuttered Kraft yogurt plant in his local newspaper. He purchased that facility.By 2007, Chobani Greek Yogurt could be found in New York grocery stores. By 2010, it became the number one selling Greek yogurt in the country.

Possible Tax Tiff Settlement Could See Twin Falls School District Paying Chobani

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A lawsuit filed in May by yogurt-maker Chobani against Twin Falls claims the assessed value of its massive production facility is too high. Now, a proposed settlement could see the Twin Falls School District paying the dairy titan.

Initially, Chobani’s property in Twin Falls was assessed to be worth some $495 million. The company appealed that figure and got it knocked down to $424 million. That was still too much for Chobani; it says its Magic Valley assets are worth less than half that. The Idaho Board of Tax Appeals lowered the assessment again – this time to $393 million.

Chobani sued and the case is set to go to court in June if a settlement isn’t reached before then.

No settlement has been reached, but the topic came up at a school board meeting this week. According to the Times News, if the assessed value of Chobani’s assets went way down, the yogurt producer would pay significantly less property tax. With a portion of property taxes going to fund bonds and levies for the Twin Falls School District, the district could end up paying Chobani. In the settlement scenario, the district could owe about $839,000 if Chobani was found to be paying too much in tax.

Twin Falls County Assessor Brad Wills says nothing is final. He’s talked with school district officials and is trying to minimize the impact on education. For its part, Chobani says it’s early in the negotiation process. The company says it wouldn’t consider a situation that puts stress on schools.

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