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Big Box Stores Losing Property Tax Fights, but Likely to Persist

July 23, 2021, 8:45 AM

Municipalities in the Midwest have shifted from legislation to litigation as their primary strategy for shielding their commercial property tax bases from erosion in the face of “dark store” theory property valuation challenges.

Towns and counties in Indiana, Minnesota, and Wisconsin battling Lowe’s Cos. Inc., Wal-Mart Inc., Home Depot Inc., and Target Corp. have won significant court victories in the last year after the big box retailers appealed local property assessments, asserting their stores must be valued as if vacant, or “dark,” and available for sale to a future property owner.

Courts in the three states have accepted the ...

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