Chippewa Co. Board to discuss ‘Dark Store Tax Loophole’, Payments in Lieu of Taxes Act

Chippewa Falls (WQOW) – The Chippewa County Board took up several issues at its Tuesday night meeting.

The board plans to send a resolution to Governor Walker and the state legislature, with hopes of closing the "Dark Store Tax Loophole". This means large companies, like Walmart, can have their store assessed as if it was vacant, even if it’s not, which would reduce the company’s assessed value, shrinking the tax burden on them and shifting it to county tax payers.

"So, it would have the big-box stores paying their fair share, is the way we look at it, because they are. If they were empty that’d be different, but they’re actually full and running and operating," said Chippewa County Administrator, Randy Scholz. "So, it would take the tax burden from the tax payer and the small business and put it fairly, I feel, onto the big box stores."

The board also plans to approve and authorize joining a class action lawsuit under the Payment in Lieu of Taxes Act. There are nearly 60 acres of federal land in Chippewa County, and according to the lawsuit, the federal government has underpaid counties with their land in it. So, Chippewa County wants to join the suit with hopes of getting some additional revenue to add back into a budget that may need some padding.

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