- Yaw Akuffo-Anoff
Big Box Stores Will No Longer Dodge Their Fair Share of Property Taxes.
Updated: May 27, 2022
An ongoing battle between Corporate America and municipal government is finally drawing to a close.
Last week, Maine lawmakers passed LD 1129 to ensure that big box stores, such as Walmart, can no longer shift their property tax burden onto local municipalities by exploiting what is known as the dark store assessment.
As we previously reported, the dark store assessment is a loophole that big box stores use to lower their assessed property value and in turn, reduce their property taxes. As a result of this practice, municipalities across the country, including Maine towns like Ellsworth, are being cheated out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in property taxes.
Now Maine stands to be the first state in the country to ensure that corporations do not short-change the municipalities that house their big box stores.
Rep. Ann Matlack, who sponsored the legislation, had a few words to share about the bill’s passage.
“These big box stores want the benefits of municipal services, such as police and fire protection, sewer and water services and well-maintained roads, while shifting their share of the cost onto the rest of the property tax payers. This law ensures that local assessors have the tools they need to support their determination of just value for these properties,” said Rep. Matlack.
Corporations who use our infrastructure and our labor have a responsibility to pay their fair share of taxes. We applaud Maine lawmakers for taking action and standing up for our local municipalities.