Wisconsin voters to consider closing ‘dark store’ loophole

Wisconsin voters to consider closing ‘dark store’ loophole

Wisconsin voters will decide this fall if lawmakers should close the state’s so-called “dark store” loophole.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports that 22 Wisconsin counties, cities and villages will consider an advisory referendum that would end the policy.

The loophole lets companies assess property taxes using the value of an empty store instead of an operational store. This typically gives stores lower assessments, which means businesses save money.

Barron County Board Chairman Louie Okey says assessing properties as if they’re vacant doesn’t make sense because they are generating revenue. He says the tax burden is then shifted to homeowners.

Corydon Fish is the director of tax for Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. He argues that the burden is actually placed on businesses.