Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 05:03 pm
The city of Racine has been ordered to refund Target Corp. $267,981 following a property tax assessment dispute.
The Minneapolis-based company alleged the property assessment in 2011, 2013 and 2014 for its store at 5300 Durand Ave. in Racine was too high based on vacant property nearby.
Racine City Administrator Tom Friedel said the city will pay the refund within 30 days, and then submit a reimbursement request to the other taxing bodies, including Racine Unified School District and Gateway Technical College.
Last week, the Racine City Council also approved a $432,000 property tax refund to Racine Joint Venture II, LLC, the company that owns Regency Mall. The company sued the city in 2010 arguing that the mall was over-assessed by $19.5 million.
Friedel, said these types of lawsuits by businesses challenging the assessed values of their properties are happening all over the state.
“This has become a priority for the League of Municipalities and I think it is something the state Legislature will take on,” Friedel said.
Target Corp.’s attorney declined to comment.
In September, the Village of Pleasant Prairie reached a settlement with Target Corp. to refund $118,946 following a property tax assessment dispute for 2012, 2013 and 2014.
In Racine, the city has created a line item in its annual budget to refund businesses claiming they have been over assessed or to pay for court costs.
“When the assessments don’t go their way, they go to court,” Friedel said. “When the businesses don’t pay the taxes, the burden falls on the homeowners. It’s not unlike health care – when big box stores come into town and don’t want to pay for employees’ health insurance, guess who pays? We do.”