Big retailers suing Janesville over tax bills

CREATED Jul 11, 2014

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JANESVILLE -- Retailers Sears, Target, Blain Supply and Menards are accusing the city of Janesville of overcharging them on their property taxes.
 
The Janesville Gazette reports (http://bit.ly/1kdml51 ) the stores have filed lawsuits seeking refunds totaling $419,000, with the largest being $217,000 sought by Menards. They argue their 2013 city assessments are higher than the companies' own assessment.
 
Twenty-two percent of the city's active property assessment lawsuits are now tied to assessments of large retailers.
 
The sudden blip of four large retailers suing at once can be attributed to statutory time limits on tax disputes.
 
City Assessor Richard Haviza says other cities around the state are seeing more large retailers suing over assessments.
 
Haviza says there isn't a clear explanation, other than larger retailers have larger assessed property values and higher tax bills.