April 17, 2018

Republicans Failed Wisconsin When They Ignored the “Dark Store” Loophole

Milwaukee, WI – Today, Senator Chris Larson released the following statement calling for action on the Dark Store Loophole:

“Today, our neighbors and residential taxpayers stood up to demand action in the next legislative session on the Dark Store loophole. In Wisconsin, neighbors contribute their fair share to property taxes, they contribute to their schools, to their roads, and to providing police and fire departments with adequate funding. But, they also want what they pay to be fair. Last session, Assembly Bill 386 was introduced to finally close the Dark Store Loophole. Those in power chose to ignore this legislation and ignore this growing problem.

Currently this glaring corporate tax-dodge allows big box stores, like Walmart and Loews, to have their property assessed as if they were abandoned buildings. This greatly reduces their tax obligation and forces it onto the rest of us to pay. This allows corporations to profit from a community while siphoning massive property tax refunds from that very same community. This unfair loophole leaves our neighbors on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars of lost revenue. It is estimated that Walmart, Loews, and other big-box retailers will use this loophole to attempt to cut their own property taxes by $700 million. (In Wisconsin over the next year)

Taxpayers have already seen the results of this legislative inaction. The mayor of Franklin was recently forced by Loews to sign over $60,479 of taxpayer money after the town was sued using this loophole. When Republicans refused to debate a Democratic amendment that would’ve closed this loophole, they allowed these corporate giants to keep sticking it to the residential taxpayer. For our state to succeed and thrive, everyone must pay their fair share, regardless of how many lobbyists they hire.”