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An affiliate of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce

Lowes Home Centers, LLC v. Village of Plover

Court: Supreme Court of Wisconsin
Appeal No.: 2019AP974
Status: Case Closed
WMC Involvement: Amicus

This lawsuit was part of the battleground in the ongoing so-called “dark stores” policy debate. For years, municipal government lobbyists have attempted to change state law to allow them to assess “occupied” stores at higher values than otherwise identical “vacant” stores. A coalition led by WMC has opposed these changes, saying they unlawfully tax business value, and citing longstanding precedent in Wisconsin that the value of real estate is what matters, not the business occupying it.

Having failed to obtain the legislative change they sought, the Village of Plover decided to engage in this unlawful practice anyway when it assessed a big box retail store. The store appealed that assessment but did not prevail.

WMC engaged in the suit to highlight the current state of the law, and to explain the history of the legislature’s repeated rejections of this policy change. The Wisconsin Supreme Court denied the store’s petition for review, bringing this case to an end.