Shawnee Mission preparing for possible impact of ‘dark store theory’ appeals on district budget

Chief Financial Officer Russell Knapp addressed the board on Monday.

The ripples of the Kansas Board of Tax Appeals’ recent ruling in case brought by Walmart alleging that Johnson County had overcharged the retailer millions in property taxes have extended to the Shawnee Mission School District.

The so-called “dark store theory” appeals brought by Walmart and other big-box retailers have challenged the method Johnson County appraisers used to value commercial property. Though the issues will likely be tied up in appeals for some time, they’ve caused alarm among local government officials, who are preparing for the possibility of millions in commercial property tax revenue disappearing — and having to pay back money collected in recent years.