Homeowners Getting Stuck With Tax Bill
"Dark store” loophole shifts corporate property taxes to homeowners, Republicans won't address problem.
Imagine if you could pay lower property taxes by simply saying no one lives in your neighbor’s house. It sounds ridiculous but the sad reality is that large corporations are increasingly taking advantage of a legal loophole to avoid paying their fair share of local property taxes. As a result of this loophole, their tax burden is shifted onto main street businesses and local homeowners.
All across Wisconsin, large corporate retailers have challenged their property taxes by arguing that the value of their new property is the same as an abandoned, or “dark” property, in a different location. In many cases, the dark property being used to exploit this loophole is property that the corporation recently abandoned to move to a new location.
Wisconsin’s “Dark Store” loophole is becoming a growing problem in municipalities of all sizes across the state. Wealthy corporations have rigged the system and taxpayers are left footing the bill.
Given the overwhelming public support for this proposal, Democrats were hopeful that the legislature would approve this commonsense fix. Unfortunately, Republican lawmakers in Madison sided with special interest groups that have opposed tax fairness for homeowners and local businesses, thus killing the bill. Their failure to lead on this issue will result in homeowners paying millions more in property taxes for years to come.
The opportunity to achieve the American Dream is out of reach for many families in Wisconsin as Republicans continue to rig tax policies in favor of corporations and the wealthy while shifting more of the tax burden onto working families and seniors.
It is disappointing and frustrating that Republicans have adjourned for the session without addressing long-term solutions for tax fairness. Rather than throwing in the towel and calling it quits, we should work together to achieve Wisconsin’s full potential.
Despite these challenges, families know they can trust Democratic leaders to fight for commonsense solutions that promote fairness, expand opportunities and invest in our communities. Closing the “Dark Store” loophole is going to be a top priority for Democrats as we continue fighting to make Wisconsin a place where the next generation wants to live, work and raise a family.
Jennifer Shilling serves as the Senate Democratic Leader and represents the 32nd District which covers La Crosse, Vernon, Crawford and parts of Monroe County.
More about the Dark Store Loophole
- Hot Debate, Limited Action by Senate - Erik Gunn - Jan 22nd, 2020
- Senate Democrats Offer 2020 Agenda - Laurel White - Dec 24th, 2019
- Dark Store Loophole Continues to Shift Property Tax Burden to Homeowners - State Rep. Gordon Hintz - Dec 19th, 2019
- Examining the Dark-Store Loophole - Melanie Conklin - Aug 7th, 2019
- Senate GOP Refuse to Close the “Dark Store” Loophole - State Sen. Jennifer Shilling - May 15th, 2019
- Senate Republicans unanimously reject vote on Dark Store fix - State Sen. Janis Ringhand - May 15th, 2019
- The State of Politics: Can Any ”Dark Store” Reform Get Passed? - Steven Walters - Apr 22nd, 2019
- Campaign Cash: Evers Opposes ‘Dark Store’ Loophole - Wisconsin Democracy Campaign - Feb 12th, 2019
- Rep. Robyn Vining Commends Gov. Evers’ Plan to Close Dark Store Loophole - State Rep. Robyn Vining - Feb 6th, 2019
- Homeowners Triumph under Gov. Evers - State Sen. Jennifer Shilling - Feb 5th, 2019
- Local Leaders Demand Big Store Tax Reform - Graham Kilmer - Oct 9th, 2018
- The State of Politics: Clash Over Assessments, Property Tax Brewing - Steven Walters - Sep 10th, 2018
- Close Dark Store Loophole, Campaign Urges - Danielle Kaeding - Aug 30th, 2018
- The State of Politics: Growing Concern Over Dark Store Loophole - Steven Walters - Apr 23rd, 2018
- Op Ed: Dark Store Loophole Costs Taxpayers - John Eiden - Apr 16th, 2018
- Op Ed: Homeowners Getting Stuck With Tax Bill - State Sen. Jennifer Shilling - Mar 25th, 2018
- Republicans Lower Walmart’s Property Taxes, Raise Yours - State Rep. Jimmy Anderson - Feb 13th, 2018
- Campaign Cash: Republicans Stall “Dark Store” Bill - Wisconsin Democracy Campaign - Dec 14th, 2017