Sup. David Sartori
Press Release

Supervisor Sartori Participates in Dark Store Day

"All I want for Christmas is for the Wisconsin State Legislature to pass the Dark Store and Walgreens reversal bills."

By - Dec 11th, 2017 01:33 pm
Walgreens at 2625 W. National Ave. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Walgreens at 2625 W. National Ave. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

MILWAUKEE – Milwaukee County Supervisor David Sartori joined with local leaders across Wisconsin today in designating December 11 as “Dark Store Day,” to draw attention to pending legislation designed to halt so-called “dark store” tax avoidance strategies.

“All I want for Christmas is for the Wisconsin State Legislature to pass the Dark Store and Walgreens reversal bills,” said Sartori.

As big box retail chains and single tenant commercial properties increasingly use dark store tax avoidance strategies to significantly reduce their property taxes, experts believe homeowners will see their property taxes increase as they shoulder more of the tax burden.

Supervisor Sartori joins local leaders statewide who are calling on state legislators to stop this tax shift by scheduling a vote in January on Senate Bill 291, which would reverse the Walgreens decision, and Senate Bill 292, which would close the dark store loophole.

SB 291 closes a gap in Wisconsin’s property assessment laws that allow single tenant commercial properties, like Walgreens and CVS, to argue that the value of their property is not what it appears to be. As a result of a 2008 Supreme Court ruling, chain drug stores have been paying taxes on their properties in Wisconsin at half their actual fair market selling price, a discount unavailable to residential and owner-occupied commercial properties.

SB 292 nullifies a related but different tax avoidance tactic. National big box retail chains and other commercial property owners are challenging their assessed values using the “Dark Store Strategy” to argue that their thriving businesses must be assessed for tax purposes as though they were a vacant, boarded up property. The Indiana legislature and Michigan courts have recently invalidated the dark store theory in those states. SB 292 makes it clear that the Dark Store loophole is closed in Wisconsin.

Mentioned in This Press Release

Recent Press Releases by Sup. David Sartori

National Association of Counties Appoints Milwaukee County Supervisor David L. Sartori to Leadership Positions

"I'm honored to represent Milwaukee County as part of the leadership team of the National Association of Counties," said Sartori.

Supervisor David L. Sartori to Attend 82nd National Association of Counties Conference in Columbus, OH

At the conference Sartori will participate in issue based discussion groups with hundreds of elected officials from across the nation to learn best practices for addressing common policy challenges faced by county governments, and in participate crafting the NACO platform.

County Board Adopts Supervisor Sartori’s Great Lakes Resolution

"I urge Congress and the President to invest in the Great Lakes like our future depends on it, because it does."

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us