Dark stores question: Voters ask state to close tax loophole

GREEN BAY – By a margin of three to one, Brown County voters say they want the state Legislature to change a law that critics say allows retailers to pay less than their fair share of property taxes.

By an 80,030-26,998 vote, county residents approved an advisory referendum calling on state lawmakers to close the so-called "dark stores loophole."

The current law allows functioning retail stores to be assessed at similar values to vacant stores, and does not require that the vacant stores be in the same part of the state. Retailers in Wisconsin have filed more than 100 lawsuits against local municipalities since 2014, seeking a total of more than $700 million in assessment reductions...

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Ken Notes: Big box, commercial office space (which may or may not be depreciated), class A retail (read Walgreens), and large office campus assessments have always been a point of contention with me.

I do have a solution: Allow communities to make an upfront TIF investment in commercial project of up to 10% of value in exchange for the property tax credits AND a development agreement guaranteeing the property value for the term of the agreement.

This sounds crazy but as a former ED Administrator, Mayor and Alderman I promise the numbers are in favor of the community. I have real examples using Walgreens, EPIC, AmFam, Menards, and others that prove I am right.

Also a lot has been said negatively about companies that "adjust" their values, and while I do not like the rules, saying bad things about those who use them to their advantage is not fair either. WE NEED TO FIX THIS!



- - Volume: 6 - WEEK: 45 Date: 11/7/2018 11:12:15 AM -