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Dark Store Documentary
DOCUMENTARY EXPLAINS DARK STORE METHOD AND ITS IMPACT ON THE FAIRNESS OF THE PROPERTY TAX SYSTEM

In the January 2015 issue of the Village Newsletter, the Village ran an article that expressed an opinion regarding a tax avoidance strategy called the “Dark Store” method. The method is being used by property tax attorneys on behalf of several large national retailers. The attorneys have argued that, unlike other properties, the values for the large national retailers, for tax purposes only, should be determined by comparing them not to comparable stores but to abandoned (or dark stores).

In the 2015 article, the Village expressed the opinion that the State of Wisconsin should take action to close access to this tax avoidance strategy in order to maintain equity and fairness within the property tax system for all property tax payers. The article quoted Village Administrator Michael Pollocoff explaining, “In Pleasant Prairie, if unabated, this practice will cause a significant tax shift to all other taxpayers. Calculations indicate an increase in Pleasant Prairie’s tax rate of between 12 and 18 percent.”

Because this is a complex issue that could have a notable impact on Pleasant Prairie property tax payers and the provision of municipal services, the Village has shared a documentary that better explains the Dark Store method on Time Warner Cable Channel 25 and on AT&T U-Verse Channel 99. The documentary is played daily at 11:00 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. The video is also available below.

Additional information can be found by typing dark store tax loophole, dark store theory, or dark store method into a search engine of your choice (such as Google or Bing). To learn about efforts in Wisconsin to address this issue, you may also visit the League of Wisconsin Municipalities website at www.lwm-info.org/1279/Dark-Store-Tax-Loophole.



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