Beaver Dam Has Settled Lawsuit Filed By Walmart

(Beaver Dam) Beaver Dam has settled a lawsuit filed by Walmart over the assessment of its store and its distribution center. Five civil lawsuits in total were filed in Dodge County court by the retailer against the city this year, after similar lawsuits were lodged in 2019all still active at the time of the settlementThe store at 120 Frances Lane was assessed at $9-million dollars but Walmart had contended that the property should be valued around $5-million dollars. The distribution center on Distribution Way was assessed at $40.7million but the lawsuit contended that the value should be closer to $27.5-million. The approach by Walmart is part of what is known as the “Dark Store Loophole.” The loophole allows big-box retailers to have their property assessments based on those of vacant competitors, meaning less revenue for local governments and more tax burden shifted to other commercial and residential taxpayers. Ted Waskowski (wass-cow-ski), who represents the city, says the settlement is for around 20-percent of the provable claim from Walmart for the distribution center. As part of the agreement, the claims against the store will be dropped. Waskowski says the agreement is similar to settlements with Walmart in Menominee and Tomah. The payout for the city is around $45-thousand dollars, compared to the $260-thousand sought for just the distribution center. Other taxing jurisdictions, like the school district and the county, would be responsible for repaying their portion of around $65-thousand dollars. As part of the agreement, the city does not admit to any liability. City officials confirm that the properties would continue to be assessed as they always have after next year