JoCo cities consider adding caveats on tax incentives for big box retailers who make ‘dark store theory’ appeals

Walmart’s victory in a recent appeal of its commercial property taxes in Johnson County has set off alarm bells among local governments.

Should cities continue to give generous tax incentives to big retailers even if it means those businesses will eventually challenge their property valuations, demand several years of tax refunds and leave homeowners and school districts holding the bag?

Some Johnson County cities are beginning to say no. As the news has begun to sink in that yet another corporate discounter – Walmart – recently won an appeal of its property values, a few cities are already looking at ways they can protect themselves. And the idea of the day seems to be tax incentive agreements that can rake back some of the money if retailers get their way in a tax appeal.