Legislature moving to curb ‘dark store theory’ tax assessments

A report on “dark store theory” by the Maine Center for Economic Policy said that when a big box retailer moves to a new location, it often puts restrictions on the businesses that can move into the space they own but are leaving behind. That’s so that the original retailer doesn’t face competition from another large retailer that buys the space, but it also results in a lower value for the property.

The center’s report said retailers “dark store theory” has been mostly successful in the Midwest, particularly in Michigan, where assessors and courts have upheld the valuation arguments of the retailers. An association of county governments in the state estimated that valuation appeals based on the theory cost local governments $100 million in tax revenue over four years.

Click here to read the full story, first published March 15, 2022, in the Sun Journal.