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“Wal-Mart is involved in a large-scale effort to roll back the property tax valuation of its stores, cutting the amount it owes to local governments for schools and social services.”

“When Wal-Mart proposes to build another of its giant stores, local residents often raise concerns about increased car and truck traffic, a loss of open space, higher crime rates and other negative impacts that they argue will lower the quality of life in the neighborhood and thus depress property values. The company responds to these concerns by painting a different picture, claiming that its stores provide substantial benefits to communities. Yet what Wal-Mart does not disclose in site fights–but is revealed for the first time in a new report by Good Jobs First — is the extent to which the company later in effect concedes the point about reduced property values. Once a store has been in operation for a while, Wal-Mart frequently challenges the assessed value that local officials assign to it for tax purposes. In an effort to cut the property tax it pays to local governments–revenue that pays for public education, police and fire protection and other vital services–Wal-Mart routinely tries to belittle the value of its own facilities.

Good Jobs First discovered this behavior in a labor-intensive, nine-month investigation of Wal-Mart’s property tax behavior at more than 500 stores and distribution centers around the United States,” quoting AlterNet.

Posted by Steve on October 21, 2007 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

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