Challenging its assessment

Walmart officials are challenging the city of Monona's assessment of its property at 2151 Royal Ave. Company officials say it should be taxed at a value about one-third of what the city is claiming.

Walmart is suing the city of Monona over the assessed value of the store in the city, asking a judge to reduce the value by two-thirds.

City officials were served a summons today.

Records show the 13.4 acres are assessed at $1,862,100, with improvements valued at $26,707,500, for a total assessed value of $28,569,600. Based on this assessed value, the company pays $646,484.79 in taxes.

Walmart representatives are challenging those numbers, insisting instead the total value should be $9,550,000 – a full two-thirds less, which would reduce its tax bill by about $433,000.

The case was filed July 24 in Dane County Circuit Court. The next court date has not been set.

In recent years, big box stores have successfully challenged their property tax bills, asking that the market value of their successful stores be based on sales of comparable properties that are abandoned and vacant.

Legal representatives for big box stores have used a Walgreens v. City of Madison court decision and the “dark store theory” in winning their cases.

A bill to rectify the situation is working its way through the legislative process in Madison, but state Rep. Jimmy Anderson said progress is slower than he would like.

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