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Tuesday - March 27, 2018 9:19 am

Lawmakers need to close dark-store loophole

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Our lawmakers in Madison have wrapped up their work for the year. Unfortunately, they haven't finished their work. One issue which lawmakers failed to address is one that is costing us money. It is the so-called “dark store loophole” which is a growing problem in La Crosse and throughout the state. Operates of corporate retailers successfully argued that their tax assessments are too high, and should only be assessed at the same level of an abandoned or “dark” property. In La Crosse this is costing taxpayers dearly. Both Macy's and Walgreens were successful in getting much of their tax payments back, to the tune of about $200,000. That leaves you and I to make up the difference. This could all be avoided if our state representatives would pass legislation to close the dark store loophole. Unfortunately, our lawmakers have adjourned for the remainder of the year so they can hit the campaign trail. They could come back in a special session to try to rewrite the rules governing the calling of special elections in the state so they don't have to comply with a judge's order that currently vacant legislative seats be filled, but have no plans to address this tax inequity. Meanwhile, stores continue to sue, and individual taxpayers are left to make up the difference.

Scott Robert Shaw

Scott Robert Shaw is the Program Director for both 1410 WIZM and 580 WKTY.   He's currently the morning news anchor on 1410 WIZM, Z93 and 95-7 The Rock.  He joined Mid-West Family Broadcasting as a reporter/anchor in 1989 and served as News Director from 1990-2015.   He's been the winner of several Wisconsin Broadcaster's Association awards for Best Editorial in Wisconsin.  He enjoys traveling, bicycling and cooking.

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