News Flash

Posted on: February 27, 2020

Wausau Walgreens is latest case of dark store tax loophole, costing residents over $120,000...

City taxpayers will lose nearly $23,000 this year when the city refunds Walgreens for a portion of its taxes in the latest case of a "dark store" tax loophole in Wisconsin that left Wausau taxpayers on the hook for over $120,000 in the past five years.

Megan Stringer, Daily Herald Dark Store Loopholes
Posted on: January 26, 2020

Bill seeks to bar large retailers from using the ‘dark store loophole’ in property tax battles

Portland, Maine: The bill, expected to appear before the Legislature’s Taxation Committee, would require that retail sales facilities more than 20,000 square feet be valued based on current use, or, if vacant, according to their highest and best use...

Hannah LaClaire, Times Herald Dark Store Loopholes
Posted on: July 16, 2019

Walmart sues to lower its Oshkosh property tax bill

Renewing its legal battle with the city of Oshkosh, Walmart filed suit July 3 to have $6.2 million knocked off the assessment on its South Washburn St store.

The company sits atop the Fortune 500 and had $500 billion in sales last year....

By Miles Maguire, Oshkosh Examiner Dark Store Loopholes
Posted on: May 20, 2019

Local officials seethe as Republicans block move on 'dark stores' loophole

Village of Somers President George Stoner said it’s just one excuse after another.

“They say it would be bad for business,” Stoner said. “It’s not bad for business. Businesses need to pay their fair share.”

By JEFFREY ZAMPANTI, Racine Journal Times Dark Store Loopholes
Posted on: March 5, 2019

Will this be the year to close “Dark store” loophole? How it impacts you

MADISON (WKOW) — As Governor Evers tours the state to rally support for the budget he introduced last week, closing the dark store loophole is poised to become a big issue at the state capitol.

Emilee Fannon, WKOW Dark Store Loopholes
Posted on: February 28, 2019

Evers to close controversial ‘Dark Store’ loophole

This method of assessment has proved controversial, as organizations like the League of Wisconsin Municipalities see the method as a gap in the tax law that allows big corporations to pay less in taxes, forcing Wisconsin residents to pay more.

Molly Devore, Badger Herald Dark Store Loopholes
Posted on: December 30, 2018

Closing the Dark Store Loophole? Referendum results deliver resounding ‘yes’...

On average, 78.65% voters answered “yes” to ballot questions asking if the loophole should be closed. The rejection vote was far bigger in individual places. In Dane County, 91.79% of voters called for ending the loophole, as did... 87.88% in Glendale.

Dan Shaw, Shepherd Express Dark Store Loopholes
Posted on: October 29, 2018

Officials urge support of Dark Store referendums

"Antaramian said if the loophole is not closed it will amount to a $350 increase on an average city home.

This comes as residential taxpayers’ share of the state’s overall property tax pie has increased to 67 percent..."

JILL TATGE-ROZELL - Kenosha News Dark Store Loopholes
Posted on: October 29, 2018

“Everyday the state Legislature does not act to close these loopholes, taxes are increasing for all

“Everyday the state Legislature does not act to close these loopholes, taxes are increasing for all homeowners, small businesses and other property owners in Kenosha and the rest of the state,” Kenosha Ald. Dan Prozanski

JILL TATGE-ROZELL - Kenosha News Dark Store Loopholes
Posted on: October 18, 2018

EDITORIAL: It’s time to pay attention to the dark store loophole

Manawa is a quaint city in Waupaca County with roughly 1,300 people who found out the hard way the damage the dark store loophole can do in communities.

Last year, TreeHouse Foods successfully argued in mitigation that the value of a food processing...

Ben Rodgers, Editor, The Press Dark Store Loopholes
Posted on: October 18, 2018

Five things to know about the 'dark store' referendum on midterm ballots

"The one thing that gets lost in talking about the details is the reason local governments are concerned," said Curt Witynski, deputy director of the League of Wisconsin Municipalities. "They're concerned about the fairness of the property-tax system."

Natalie Wickman, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Dark Store Loopholes
Posted on: October 10, 2018

‘It’s not right:’ Elected officials urge candidates for governor to close tax loopholes

"Our residents should not be having to incur this cost for an unfair tax shift," said Kathy Ehley, mayor of Wauwatosa. The leaders drafted a letter seeking relief from the so-called "dark store"/ "Walgreens loopholes"....

Beverly Taylor, Fox 6 News Dark Store Loopholes
Posted on: October 10, 2018

Local Leaders Demand Big Store Tax Reform

The effect of these loopholes is that property tax revenues from these large companies and corporations go down, and the tax burden paying for essential services like police and fire is shifted to homeowners and small business owners.

Graham Kilmer, Urban Milwaukee Dark Store Loopholes
Posted on: October 7, 2018

Burlington to consider joining dark store tax battle

Whenever big box retailers such as Walmart use the dark store loophole to avoid paying higher taxes, residents and small businesses pay the price, which has caused most state municipalities to urge lawmakers to stop the practice.

Jason Arndt, Editor, My Racine County Dark Store Loopholes
Posted on: October 7, 2018

Panel wants property assessment loopholes closed

Homeowners in Wisconsin already pay 70% of property taxes statewide. And Douglas County want to make sure that share doesn't grow. But a loophole in Wisconsin law is helping big box and chain stores use tax avoidance strategies that shift the burden....

Shelley Nelson, Superior Telegram Dark Store Loopholes
Posted on: August 27, 2018

Shifting the Tax Burden

Shifting the tax burden: If plaintiffs win lawsuits over property tax assessments, taxpayers could see $561K on their tab
Taxpayers could be on the hook for $561,183 if plaintiffs in 11 civil lawsuits challenging property tax assessments filed . . . .

Christena T. O’Brien, Leader-Telegram Dark Store Loopholes
Posted on: August 24, 2018

City, Walmart settle value dispute--for now

A dispute between Walmart and Monona officials over the value of the business’ property has been settled, with a few elected officials saying it’s the best the city could hope for in the short term.

Kevin Passon for The Herald-Independent Dark Store Loopholes
Posted on: August 17, 2018

Dark Store Reform Important to All of Us

The city of Oshkosh is taking a stand to address a disturbing trend in property valuation. This trend is shifting the bur-den of property taxes from big-box retail stores to homes and small businesses. The term you may be familiar with is
“dark store.”

Oshkosh Mayor Seven Cummings, Oshkosh Herald Dark Store Loopholes
Posted on: August 16, 2018

Lasse: Dark store Theory is a con

I am a developer in the city of Janesville and have worked on numerous projects over the last 25 years including the Kmart/Festival redevelopment, Oasis/Menards redevelopment, Castle Metals, Upper Lakes Foods, IPM Foods and ANGI Energy Systems . . . .

Tom Lasse, GazetteXtra Dark Store Loopholes
Posted on: August 15, 2018

West Allis voters loudly demand Legislators close the so-called dark store loophole

Local voters in Tuesday's primary election stood solidly behind West Allis officials in wanting the state legislature to close the so-called dark store loophole that has resulted in big-box stores getting drastic reductions in their property tax . . . .

Jane Ford-Stewart, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Dark Store Loopholes
Posted on: August 17, 2018

10 new lawsuits protest Eau Claire tax bills

Ten additional civil lawsuits — seeking more than $458,000 in property tax refunds — have been filed against the city of Eau Claire. Six of those have been filed by KT Real Estate Holdings . . . concerning six Kwik Trip locations; two by Menard Inc. . .

Christena T. O'Brien, Leader-Telegram 8-1-18 Dark Store Loopholes
Posted on: August 14, 2018

Marshfield may join Dark Store fight

The city of Marshfield may join the Dark Store tax loophole campaign, as Wisconsin municipalities band together against some “big box” retailers.

The loophole involves active retail stores being taxed as if they were . . . .

Chris Leonhardt, Hub City Times Dark Store Loopholes
Posted on: August 10, 2018

Janesville Residents Could See Higher Tax Bill due to Dark Store Law Suites

The property tax bill of an average Janesville home could increase by more than $26 if pending property assessment appeals against the city are successful. Janesville is involved in 11 pending appeals from local businesses. They are seeking a . . . .

Janesville Gazette Xtra Dark Store Loopholes
Posted on: August 10, 2018

Dark Store Loophole: Walmart and Menards Take Action Against City to Lower Assessed Value

City Communicates OnFocus – The Finance, Budget and Personnel Committee approved making a $2,500 donation to the League of Wisconsin Municipalities to help in their fight against the Dark Store Loophole currently used in Wisconsin.
“Wal-Mart and . . . .

Focus on Marshfield Dark Store Loopholes
Posted on: August 9, 2018

Roundy's sues Shorewood over 'excessive' Metro Market assessment

Roundy's has filed a lawsuit against the village, claiming the assessed value of the Metro Market is "excessive." The village has assessed the two-story grocery store at $25.3 million, but the complaint filed by Roundy's claims the grocery store . . . .

Jeff Rumage, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 8-8-18 Dark Store Loopholes
Posted on: August 9, 2018

City Manager Mark Freitag, Janesville, Dark Store Op-Ed

In an editorial published August 5, 2018, the Janesville Gazette criticized the City for advocating for the state to put an end to the “dark store” property assessment loophole which shifts the property tax burden from large corporations . . . .

Mark Freitag, Janesville Gazette Dark Store Loopholes
Posted on: August 6, 2018

City may aid dark store lobbying efforts

Monona city officials appear to have temporarily settled a pair of lawsuits by Walmart challenging its property assessment, but that doesn’t mean the city is giving up on the broader issue. Alders on Monday will consider a resolution to donate. . . .

Kevin Passon for The Herald-Independent Dark Store Loopholes
Posted on: July 23, 2018

Sturgeon Bay Wal-Mart gets reassessed in dark store case

The city of Sturgeon Bay and Wal-Mart will head to mediation this fall to discuss the store’s current property assessment. Last September, the Wal-Mart Real Estate Business Trust filed a suit against the city in Door County Circuit Court . . .

Tim Kowols, Door County News, July 20, 2018 Dark Store Loopholes
Posted on: July 10, 2018

Pleasant Prairie approves agreement for hotel development

PLEASANT PRAIRIE — The Village Board here has unanimously approved a developer’s agreement for a future corporate campus with a hotel and other services in the LakeView Corporate Park.

Terry Flores, Kenosha News in The Journal Times Dark Store Loopholes
Posted on: July 9, 2018

With bills blocked, get familiar with 'dark store' referendum

Gov. Scott Walker is ready to sign bipartisan legislation to close the “dark stores” loophole that allows big retailers to curtail their tax assessments.
He made that clear during his visit to Kenosha for the Kenosha Civic Veterans Parade.

Kenosha News, July 9, 2018 Dark Store Loopholes
Posted on: April 25, 2018

Growing Concern Over Dark Store Loophole

The “dark store” controversy now ranks with the failure to pay for long-term highway construction as the most difficult issues facing the governor and legislators seeking reelection in November.

Stevens Walters, Urban Milwaukee Dark Store Loopholes
Posted on: April 6, 2018

Democratic legislators committed to closing ‘dark store loophole’

State Rep. Jimmy Anderson and other Democratic legislators are assuring Dane County Board members and other local officials of their commitment to legislation that would close the “dark store loophole” used by big box retailers to lower their tax. . .

The Herald Independent April 4, 2018 Dark Store Loopholes
Posted on: April 2, 2018

Outagamie county sets referendum on dark store tax loopholes

APPLETON - Voters in Outagamie County will get an opportunity to add their voice to the debate over Wisconsin's so-called dark store tax loopholes.

The County Board voted unanimously Tuesday to hold an advisory referendum on the issue . . .

Duke Behnke, USA Today Network-Wisconsin Dark Store Loopholes