Walgreens at odds with Stevens Point over taxes - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Walgreens at odds with Stevens Point over taxes

STEVENS POINT (WAOW) - Stevens Point is negotiating with drug store giant Walgreens to settle a lawsuit the company filed in 2011 over how its store was assessed for property taxes, City Attorney Andrew Beveridge said Thursday.

Walgreens claims the city overtaxed the company by about $125,000 total during tax years 2010, 2011 and 2012, he said.

Among the issues is how lease agreements are factored into tax assessments.

Walgreens has filed similar lawsuits involving at least a dozen stores in Wisconsin, including stores in Wausau and Oshkosh, attorneys said.

Wausau has two lawsuits, filed in 2011 and 2013, involving two stores and about $246,000 in disputed taxes, City Attorney Anne Jacobson said Thursday. Progress has been stalled awaiting an appeals court ruling in the Oshkosh case, she said.

Walgreens' Stevens Point store was assessed at $2.6 million for taxing purposes in 2009, the valuation was raised to $3.2 million in 2010 and it has remained stable since then, Beveridge said.

Walgreens claims in the lawsuit that the assessment is excessive, leading to more taxes being paid than is fair, he said.

A three-day trial is scheduled to start Oct. 22, the attorney said.

"The next step is really for the city and Walgreens via their attorneys to attempt to come up with a resolution," Beveridge said. "We think that is possible. If not, we are prepared to go to trial."

James Graham, a spokesman for Walgreens at its corporate headquarters in Deerfield, Ill., issued the following email statement: “Although we cannot discuss ongoing tax issues, we can tell you that we pursue tax fairness when we feel our assessments are not appropriate, as any property owner would.”

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