Walmart, Target, apartment owners sue city over property tax assessments

The Walmart lawsuit against the City of Sun Prairie claims its $12 million property assessment of its McCoy Road Store should be no higher than $5.6 million.

Walmart and Target claim their Sun Prairie stores were overtaxed by the City of Sun Prairie with one retailer looking to cut its property assessment in half.

Owners of Liberty Square, Prospect Commons and Providence Commons are also taking the city to court over 2020 property assessments.

The Walmart lawsuit claims its $12 million property assessment of its McCoy Road Store should be no higher than $5.6 million. Walmart’s tax bill for 2020 is $264,464. Walmart sued the city in 2018 over tax assessments.

Target is suing to get its $8.7 million assessment lowered to $6.1 million, claiming the company is due a property tax refund of at least $64,241 on its S. Grand Avenue store.

The Minneapolis-based corporation received a $42,428 refund in a settlement with the city over its 2017 and 2018 property assessments. The city refunded $85,020 in property taxes when the company challenged its 2012-2014 property assessments.

Otto’s Orchard Spring Venture, LLC wants its assessment lowered by $1.9 million on its 1201 and 1221 Prospect Commons, 2987 Providence Street and 115 King Street properties.

Liberty Square LLC’s lawsuit against the city claims its assessments of its 940 Liberty Boulevard and 1301 School St. properties should be lowered at least $1.6 million.

If the businesses win in court or there’s a settlement the city, the Sun Prairie Area School District, Dane County, Madison Area Technical College and the state will lose tax revenue. Past tax assessment settlements have increased taxes for other city taxpayers.

Sun Prairie attorney Don Millis, who represented Target, Walmart and the other companies filing lawsuits against the city, said in a previous interview that property assessment challenges are all about businesses trying to keep costs down. He also cited problems with mass assessment procedures, which are even more difficult in a fast-growing municipality like Sun Prairie.

The lawsuits were filed in Dane County Circuit Court in November.

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