Waupun Adopts Resolution Opposing Dark Stores Loophole

(Waupun) Waupun city officials passed a resolution Tuesday night backing a statewide initiative to eliminate a tax loophole that big box stores are using to lower their property tax bill. It is called the Dark Store Concept; the bigger retailers want their property assessed as if no one is operating in them which would lower how much they would pay in property taxes. Those unpaid taxes would then fall onto local taxpayers in the municipalities where those retailers are located. Waupun joins 44 other cities including Watertown, Lodi and Green Lake who have a similar resolution on the books. City Administrator Kathy Schlieve says this effort is to protect citizens against the tax loophole and make sure that they do not experience large swings in their taxes. Schlieve says she is not aware of any businesses in Waupun that take advantage of the Dark Stores concept. She notes that the city went through a revaluation process last fall to make sure the city is taxing fairly and that the burden of the tax base is distributed equally. Schlieve says Waupun will work closely with local legislatures and the League of Wisconsin Municipalities as the issue continues to be discussed at the capital.