Republicans Lower Walmart’s Property Taxes, Raise Yours
Local governments and taxpayers will continue to pay for tax loophole
MADISON – Today, Assembly Republicans voted against closing the ‘Dark Store’ loophole. Based on a Supreme Court decision in 2008, big box retailers are allowed to base their tax assessments on their value as a vacant store rather than a store in operation. This so-called ‘Dark Store’ loophole saves corporate retailers millions of dollars and shifts the burden of those savings to homeowners and other businesses.
“I am disappointed, but not at all surprised that Assembly Republicans sided with big box retailers over their local governments today. Walmart and WMC have been lobbying the legislature for months” said Rep. Anderson. “Any way you look at it, leaving this loophole open shifts the tax burden away from huge retailers and onto local property taxpayers.”
“Speaker Vos threw a fit on the floor because we tried to hold a vote on a bill that has 28 Republican co-sponsors in the Assembly. It has 22 Democratic co-sponsors. The platonic ideal of bi-partisanship! This bi-partisan piece of legislation was supported by local governments and local elected officials all across Wisconsin.”
To cite just a few examples of retailers using the dark store loophole to avoid paying taxes:
- Using the Dark Store Loophole, Menards reduced the value of its property in Fond du Lac, from $9.2 million to $5.2 million.
- A CVS property in Appleton reduced the value of its property from $4.4 million to $1.8 million. Local taxpayers are now on the hook for a $350,000 refund.
“We can get this done before the legislative session ends. We simply need the political will from the Republican leaders in the state capitol to make it happen,” Rep. Anderson concluded.
- 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
Read more about Dark Store Loophole here