On May 3, 2017, Rep. Rob Brooks (R-Saukville), Sen. Roger Roth (R-Appleton), and Sen. Duey Stroebel (R-Cedarburg), will hold a joint news conference in the Assembly Parlor to unveil bills regarding the “dark store theory” and Walgreen Company v. City of Madison reversal.
The Rob Brooks/Stroebel bill
LRB 0372 reverses the 2008 Wisconsin Supreme Court property assessment decision in Walgreen Company v. City of Madison. The bill clarifies for property tax purposes real property includes any leases, rights, and privileges pertaining to the property. The bill codifies the axiom in assessment law that real property be assessed at its highest and best use.
The Rob Brooks/Roth bill
The market segmentation bill, LRB 0373, codifies Wisconsin case law and guidance provided by the Department of Revenue’s Wisconsin Property Tax Assessment Manual, to clarify that when assessors use sales of comparable properties to value property, they must use comparables that are within the same market segment and similar to the property being assessed with regard to age, condition, use, type of construction, location, design, and economic characteristics. Furthermore, the bill explicitly states that vacant, dark stores cannot be used as comparables for open stores. LRB 0373 adopts language from the Wisconsin Property Tax Assessment Manual to codify best practices during assessments.