Taking the deal

City settles lawsuit, agrees to lower taxes for Walmart parcel

The city of Medford has agreed to settle a lawsuit with Walmart over property tax assessment for the local store rather than risk a court decision.
The vote to settle the lawsuit came after a nearly hour-long closed session with attorney Val Anderson of the Muncipal Law and Litigation Group during Tuesday’s city council meeting. The attorney was paid through the Wisconsin League of Municipalities and has been working with a mediator to reach a settlement agreement with the retail giant.
“I think this in an unfortunate circumstance,” said alderman Mike Bub. He placed blame for the situation squarely on the shoulders of state legislature for not fixing the dark store loophole. Under this loophole large retailers such as Walmart are claiming that the presence of unoccupied big box retail space in the community should reduce the amount of property taxes they have to pay, regardless of how profitable the stores are.

See the full story in this week's issue of The Star News.

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