Wisconsin supreme court sides with Walgreens

I’m checking into whether or not this could have serious implications for Brookfield’s tax base. From the Capital Times:

The city of Madison, the school district and other governmental tax districts will have to pay back hundreds of thousands of dollars in property taxes to two Walgreens stores, the state Supreme Court said Tuesday.

Walgreen Co. sued the city in 2004 for $150,000 that the company said it was overcharged because the city based its property tax assessment on the lease amount Walgreens paid on its stores in 2003 and 2004. Dane County Circuit Court and the state Appeals Court both sided with the city. But Tuesday’s Supreme Court opinion rules that the lower courts erred by not following the tenets of the Wisconsin Property Assessment Manual.

I know commercial buildings in our community are taxed by income, not property value. But, I also know that we literally have one of the best assessors in the state, so I’d bet his office is by the book mentioned above.

I’ll let you know what I find out. It will be interesting to see how this affects valuation of commercial properties in the state. Many communities have coveted the increase in commercial property for years as a way to increase taxes and thus spending. It looks like there are a lot of retailers going to the method of increasing rents for special improvements, so this ruling will affect the assessment of other properties in those communities.

In the meantime, imagine the squawking coming out of a municipal government that actually has to hand back money. Wow!