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American Museum of Fly Fishing, Inc. v. Town of Manchester – Case Brief Summary (Vermont)

In American Museum of Fly Fishing, Inc. v. Town of Manchester, 151 Vt. 103, 110, 557 A.2d 900 (1989), the Court examined the "public use" component of § 3802(4) ("Real and personal estate granted, sequestered or used for public, pious or charitable uses") and laid out a three-part test distilling criteria "explicitly stated" or "implicit in the prior decisions of this Court" for determining tax exempt "public uses." In keeping with the legislative intent, the Court held that in order to qualify for tax exemption, a "public use" must meet the following criteria:

(1) the property must be dedicated unconditionally to public use;

(2) the primary use must directly benefit an indefinite class of persons who are part of the public, and must also confer a benefit on society as a result of the benefit conferred on the persons directly served;

(3) the property must be owned and operated on a not-for-profit basis. Id. at 110, 557 A.2d at 904.