Baraboo joins tax fight against retailers – Ben Bromley – Baraboo New Republic

Baraboo is joining communities statewide in asking the state Legislature to close a tax loophole exploited by big-box retailers.

On Tuesday, the City Council voted unanimously to support a resolution asking for legislation to eliminate the “dark stores” loophole. National retail chains looking to reduce their property tax burden are suing municipalities over their assessments, claiming their stores should be valued the same as vacant buildings of comparable size.

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The Dark Store Theory and Other Lies the Government Told – Judy S. Engel and Lynn S. Linné – Bloomberg BNA

Dark stores are closed and vacant commercial buildings. Big-box retailers have argued that dark stores can be considered when valuing their property. Assessors and appraisers have argued that dark stores are not comparable to open and operating stores, and shouldn’t be used for property tax valuation. In this article, Fredrikson & Byron, P.A.’s Judy Engel and Lynn Linné discuss the dark stores theory and why using vacant stores in property valuation is an acceptable appraisal practice.

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Decrepit Bank Highlights Pitfalls of Tax Sale System – JORDAN VANDENBERGE – TriState Homepage.com

It is just one of more than 600 properties that are up for sale at Vanderburgh County’s annual tax sale. But a century old building on Evansville’s west side is emblematic of what some describe as a broken system.

Built in the early 1900s, the former Howell Mortage Bank at 3000 Broadway Avenue has been a frequent flyer on the county’s tax sale list. According to property records, it has gone unsold at the annual tax sale every year since at least 2013. It has had five different owners — many of whom are limited liability companies — in the past decade.

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Steel firm’s plans to leave Cook County for Indiana blamed on anti-business policies – Michael Carroll – Illinois New Network

A Cook County steel plant is laying the groundwork to relocate to Gary, Ind., after winning the Gary Redevelopment Commission’s go-ahead this week for a 25-acre purchase of industrial land.

The move by Alliance Steel Corp. prompted observers of Illinois’ business climate to say it reflects a continuing out-migration of Illinois businesses looking to escape high taxes, bad public policies and a looming pension crisis. The company expects to employ about 100 people at its planned 250,000-square-foot plant in Gary.

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Property tax assessment at center of issue with County and Belterra – Vevay Media Group

A long running dispute between the county and Belterra Resort Indiana, LLC may result in the county repaying property tax money to the Casino.

At the April meeting of the Switzerland County Council, county officials discussed the situation, which has been going on since 2009. At the center of the controversy has been Belterra’s assertion that the property is assessed at a greater value than it should be. The casino contends that if it had been correctly assessed at the lower rate it maintains, then it would not have paid the amount of property taxes that it has – and the county should repay that overrage amount to the corporation.

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Downward trend: Predicting base rate of farmland for property taxes – Larry DeBoer – Reporter.net

The late, great George Carlin had a routine about a weather forecaster.

“The forecast for tonight: dark. Continued dark throughout the night, with scattered light in the morning.”

Some predictions are easy.

Predicting the base rate of farmland used to be easy too. The base rate is the starting point for setting the assessed value of farmland for property taxes. The Indiana Department of Local Government Finance recalculates it every year with a capitalization formula. They divide measures of farm income by a rate of return. The base rate for taxes this year is $1,960 per acre.

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Meijer and Kohl’s aim to slash their property taxes in St. Joseph County – Ted Booker – South Bend Tribune

Hundreds of thousands of dollars in property taxes are at stake in a legal brawl between big-box stores and St. Joseph County.

Three Meijer and two Kohl’s stores in the county have appealed their property assessments for multiyear periods.

The retailers, faced with challenges as more people shop online, want to slash property taxes by arguing stores should be taxed the same as vacant ones, also known as dark boxes.

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