Everyone who believes that national chain stores should pay their fair share of property taxes should be not just dismayed, but angry, about Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos’ refusal to even consider a vote on a bipartisan proposal to end the “dark store exemption.”

For those of you who don’t know what this means, it’s pretty simple. When property tax bills come due, many of the large national chains claim that the value of their properties should be compared to the shuttered Walmart on 52nd Street in Kenosha.

That’s a real dark store, that’s what Woodman’s, Meijer’s, Walmart, Lowe’s, Walgreen’s and CVS all claim the value of their properties is in line with. That’s an absurd position considering how much those companies paid for their land, how much they paid to construct their buildings and how much money they’re all making.

How does this affect you? If the big box stores and the national chains refuse to pay their fair share, Kenosha County and Racine County have to make it up with your residential and small-business property taxes. Are you OK with subsidizing big box stores? I’m not.

In the May 17 Kenosha News, Somers Village President George Stoner was quoted as saying, “This dark store thing is totally destroying communities. We’re very, very upset with the leading Republicans, and there’s nothing we can do about it.”

Yes there is. It’s called an election. Speaker Vos (R-63rd District) and his employee, state Rep. Samantha Kerkman (R-61st District) should both be held accountable for ignoring the will of the people. In 2020, take your state back, vote these people out of office.

Steve Marovich

Kenosha

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