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Dark Store Theory: Dane County residents to vote on tax loophole


November 1, 2018

An increase in lawsuits in state using “Dark Store Theory” (DST) as a basis for tax reduction has prompted the Dane County Board of Supervisors to place an advisory question on the ballot asking if the tax loophole for box stores should be closed.

DST has been used in cases around the country, and particularly the Midwest, with big box stores arguing their property assessments should reflect the market value, rather than value of use. Opponents say the loss of revenue ultimately shifts more of the tax burden to homeowners.

Several cases have been won in Wisconsin in recent years, but...

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