Walgreen has been one of the principal drivers of a trend in which large retailers seek lower assessments, sometimes through lawsuits that small municipalities are ill-equipped to fight. The company and its lawyers have challenged assessments across the state, ultimately suing municipalities at least 50 times in the past decade.
“More companies are bringing them,” said Amie Trupke, a Madison-based attorney who represents municipalities in assessment cases. “Walgreens was probably the pioneer. But now we have Sears, Target, Menards, Kohl’s, Fleet Farm, Farm & Fleet and the fast-food chains bringing challenges.”
Assessors and their attorneys point to the increasing number of legal challenges as evidence Walgreen and other companies with deep pockets are bullying cities, towns and villages into lowering property assessments.
But hey, we just can’t afford nice things like schools and pensions and filling in potholes anymore.