- Lawyers representing retailers say that big-box stores are effectively worthless at the point of sale, which should be reflected in the taxes they pay—even while the stores are still active. And many companies file repeat tax assessment appeals until municipalities capitulate. Tax assessors say that this argument defies common sense, and that the lost revenue will eventually force a heavier tax burden onto other homeowners.
State tax boards weighing the two sides have largely been split about who’s right. And municipal finance experts have warned that fiscal havoc lies ahead for local governments across the U.S. if the issue isn’t resolved by state tax laws.