Wisconsin Manufacturer: Dark Store Bill Would Raise My Property Taxes $68,000 Per Year


Badger Meter Calls on Legislators to Oppose Anti-Business Legislation

MADISON – The owner of Badger Meter – a growing Wisconsin manufacturer – sent a letter to legislators on Monday asking them to oppose the so-called “dark store” legislation because it would raise the company’s property taxes by $68,000 per year on their Mount Pleasant facility.

In the letter, Rich Meeusen wrote:

“Badger Meter recently announced plans to move thirty-five family sustaining jobs to Wisconsin at our facility in Mount Pleasant. The facility itself is owned by an unrelated real estate holding company, and we lease the space in a triple-net lease where we are responsible for paying the property taxes.

“The unrelated holding company recently sold the property to another real estate investor. Included in the sale is the value of our lease, which is an above market lease. Although no significant changes have been made to the building since it was last assessed, the sales price was thirty-three percent higher than the assessed value because the remaining nine year of lease income was included in the sale price, along with the value of the land and building.

“Senate bill 291 will allow assessors to include the value of the lease income in the valuation of this property. As a result, through no fault of our own, and with no significant changes to the building, Senate Bill 291 will cause our property taxes at the Mount Pleasant facility to increase by roughly $68,000 per year.”

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) has strongly advocated on behalf of businesses of all sizes from all sectors that would see their business property taxes increase thanks to the “dark store” legislation.

“It is extremely odd that legislators who fought for reforms that led to businesses like Badger Meter moving more jobs to Wisconsin would now turn around and punish those exact same employers,” said WMC Senior Vice President of Government Relations Scott Manley. “The so-called ‘dark store’ legislation is nothing more than a money grab by local governments who are looking for more ways to increase taxes on retailers, restaurants, manufacturers and a variety of other businesses.”

Meeusen ended his letter by asking legislators to oppose the “dark store” legislation.

“This is not how you send the message that Wisconsin is open for business,” he wrote.

To view the full letter, click here.


For more information, contact:
Nick Novak, 608.258.3400