Dark Store / Walgreens Loophole (Article 2 of 3) / by Tom Roessler

 Wisconsin property tax payers could see an increase of 8% or more if the Dark store / Walgreens loophole is not addressed by our state officials.  Read on to find out more…

Impact of inaction:   In Wisconsin, residential property owners pay 68% of Property Taxes collected.  In surrounding states without this loophole, this percent drops to a low of 50% in Minnesota.  It is feared that with continued use of this loophole, Wisconsin residential owners could see an additional shift to their property taxes of 8% or more.  Wisconsin Policy Forum, a statewide nonpartisan, independent policy research group, points out that statewide the number of appeals is on the rise as well as the amount of money refunded, citing that appeals classified as “Dark Store” rose from 63 in 2016 to 79 in 2017 with cities and municipalities refunding  $2.2 million in 2016 jumping to $3.1 million in 2017.

A request for information from The City of Appleton was answered by City of Appleton Assessor, DeAnn Brosman.  She states that loophole money is not lost to the city, but passed on to other property owners.  Brosman confirmed that the city currently receives 68% of it’s tax levy from individual household property owners and that Appleton has had to refund $802,110 in the past five years due to the loophole with an additional case pending.