As Big Retailers Seek to Cut Their Tax Bills, Towns Bear the Brunt

along with also in Wauwatosa, a shopping polestar in Wisconsin where chockablock malls attract families inside market for $4,000 sofas, Adidas NMDs along with also a Cheesecake Factory pig out, the city is actually fighting property tax appeals in court dating back to 2015 coming from Lowe’s, Nordstrom, Best Buy, Meijer along with also United Healthcare. the idea recently settled with Target, Walgreens along with also a KFC franchise.

“the idea’s like a virus,” said Kathleen Ehley, the mayor of Wauwatosa.

inside Lowe’s case, the company spent more than $16 million to buy the land along with also construct its 140,000-square-foot building less than a dozen years ago. The city assessed the spot in a bustling retail hub right off Highway 41 at $13.6 million. The company’s appraisal was $7.1 million, based on sales of empty along with also once empty buildings in some other neighborhoods.

Lowe’s declined to comment because the case is actually being litigated.

yet the city’s assessor said Lowe’s had partly based its analysis on stores in which were more than 25 years old along with also in economically declining neighborhoods. Another store was listed as comparable in part because of its “proximity” to a shopping mall, although instead of the booming center near This kind of Lowe’s, in which mall had closed 15 years earlier.

City officials estimate in which the current string of dark-store lawsuits alone would certainly require the idea to refund $4.1 million of tax payments — the equivalent of about a tenth of its total property tax revenue This kind of year.

“Either my property taxes are going to go up or my schools are going to suffer,” said Lisa Williams, who lives in a classic Craftsman-style bungalow a few minutes’ drive coming from Lowe’s in Wauwatosa, a comfortable suburb of Milwaukee. “The stores want to get all the benefits of being here without any of the costs.”

Ms. Williams, 53, a researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee who has three children, added, “Everybody inside neighborhood shops there.”

Efforts to reduce tax assessments on the local level are continuing even as businesses are seeing hefty reductions in their federal taxes coming from last year’s tax overhaul in Washington.