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It’s Time to Boycott Walgreens

Tanngrisnir

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Amelia

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We need more PAC's here running ads to explain about that "dark-store" trick. I saw the ballot question, but I didn't know what it was about. And with as much time as I spend paying attention to political things, chances are pretty good not a lot of people knew what it was about. If we had more groups trying to inform about issues such as this instead of the purely partisan games and empty fluff campaign ads maybe we would be better off.
 

Neomalthusian

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"When calculating the property taxes it owed, Walgreens used an artificially low valuation of its stores."

What was Walgreens doing assessing the value of its own property and calculating the taxes it would owe?

They weren't, of course. So I wonder why it was phrased this way?
 

Sampson Simpson

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When consumer friendly companies turn against democratic values the friendship sours.


https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/09/...l?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage


All the mega corporations are scumbags, they are about one thing only, getting the most profit at any cost. The disgusting fact that 3 people (Gates, Bezos, Buffet) own more than the bottom 50% in this country combined is prime example.

It's no secret republicans don't work for the people, they work for corporations. Democrats not that much better, at least they pretend to care to do something about it
 

Kal'Stang

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When consumer friendly companies turn against democratic values the friendship sours.


https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/09/...l?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

From the link:

Wisconsin’s Republicans really are trying to undo democracy. When I asked Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt — the political scientists who wrote the recent book “How Democracies Die” — about the situation, they agreed that the Wisconsin power grab was the sort of move their book describes. If it continues, it can lead to the breakdown of a political system.

What a bunch of alarmist baloney totally devoid of knowledge of history. What Repubs are doing in Wisconsin is nothing new and has been done time and again by BOTH parties.

In 2008, the State Supreme Court ruled in favor of an aggressive tax strategy by the company, in a case known as Walgreens v. City of Madison. When calculating the property taxes it owed, Walgreens used an artificially low valuation of its stores. It did not pay taxes based on the actual value of those stores, as reflected by their purchase price and rent. Instead, it took into account the value of vacant stores nearby.

Since when does the government allow people to evaluate their own property for taxes? :roll:
 

JasperL

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"When calculating the property taxes it owed, Walgreens used an artificially low valuation of its stores."

What was Walgreens doing assessing the value of its own property and calculating the taxes it would owe?

They weren't, of course. So I wonder why it was phrased this way?

The companies challenge the property tax assessments in court. So, yes, technically it's the courts adopting the arguments of the stores. It's a neat trick, though - buy a piece of property for $4 million, argue in court the correct property tax assessment is $2 million, and the court says, "You're right!"
 

akyron

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Your linked article is an opinion piece. Why would one boycott a company based solely on an opinion piece?

It was a slow day for outrage.
 

Mycroft

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The companies challenge the property tax assessments in court. So, yes, technically it's the courts adopting the arguments of the stores. It's a neat trick, though - buy a piece of property for $4 million, argue in court the correct property tax assessment is $2 million, and the court says, "You're right!"

Isn't it customary to determine tax assessment based, in part, on the values of comparable properties in the area?

Why, yes. That's exactly how it's done.

Assessed Property Value

Property taxes are calculated by taking the mill levy and multiplying it by the assessed value of your property. The assessed value estimates the reasonable market value for your home. It is based upon prevailing local real estate market conditions.

The assessor will review all relevant information surrounding your property to estimate its overall value. To give you the most accurate assessment, the assessor must look at what similar properties are selling for under the current market conditions, how much the replacement costs for the property would be, the maintenance costs for the property owner, any improvements that were completed, any income you are making from the property and how much interest would be charged to purchase or construct a property comparable to yours.

https://www.investopedia.com/articles/tax/09/calculate-property-tax.asp
 

Amelia

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Isn't it customary to determine tax assessment based, in part, on the values of comparable properties in the area?

Why, yes. That's exactly how it's done.

Vacant stores aren't comparable properties.
 

Amelia

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Evidently, a court doesn't agree with you.

You're very good at talking in circles. /hat tip

The court agreeing that Walgreens could get away with it legally in Wisconsin until we fix the law is not the same as saying that the assessments were done based on comparable properties.
 

<alt>doxygen

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I don't go to Walgreens and I will continue that practice.
 

Mycroft

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Perhaps it would be wise to actually read the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling. It can be seen here: https://law.justia.com/cases/wisconsin/supreme-court/2008/33322.html

Here is an excerpt:

As to the issue regarding the proper method of property tax assessment, we reaffirm the holding of Flood v. Bd. of Review, 153 Wis. 2d 428, 431, 451 N.W.2d 422 (1990), that Wis. Stat. § 70.32(1) "proscribes assessing real property in excess of market value." This holding is consistent with the nationally recognized principle that "[a] lease never increases

the market value of real property rights to the fee simple estate." Appraisal Institute, The Appraisal of Real Estate 473 (12th ed. 2001). We also affirm that § 70.32(1) requires adherence to the Wisconsin Property Assessment Manual3 (the Property Assessment Manual) absent conflicting law. The Manual is consistent with both statutory and case law in this state

requiring an income approach assessment of a leased retail property's fair market value of the fee simple interest to be based on market lease rates, not actual contract rates, as long as encumbrances to the property do not cause its leased fee value to fall below a market rate value. We conclude that the circuit court in this case failed to apply these

well-established rules of property assessment. Therefore, we reverse the decision of the court of appeals and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
 

Logical1

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Quoting the liars at the New York Times is meaningless. They are the Pravda of the democrat party. They are also know liars and print fake news if they think it will hurt republicans.
 

Mycroft

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You're very good at talking in circles. /hat tip

The court agreeing that Walgreens could get away with it legally in Wisconsin until we fix the law is not the same as saying that the assessments were done based on comparable properties.

shrug...

Change the law.

Until you do, the court ruling stands, since it is based on existing law.
 

Amelia

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shrug...

Change the law.

Until you do, the court ruling stands, since it is based on existing law.

Thanks for agreeing to what I said in rebuttal to your glibly false suggestion about how Walgreens was doing it.

What a waste of time which could have been saved by you not just making things up as you go.

Oh, and Wisconsin voters voted to change the law. The Republicans in Walgreens' pocket probably won't go for it -- we know who the Republicans serve. So we need more news stories about it. Today's news is a start.
 
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Lutherf

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JasperL

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Isn't it customary to determine tax assessment based, in part, on the values of comparable properties in the area?

Why, yes. That's exactly how it's done.

Why, yes, that's correct, but there is no need for a "comparable" value when you have the ACTUAL value which is a sale price on the open market between a willing buyer and seller. If you buy your house for $500,000, that is the FMV, because that's the price between willing buyer and seller. It doesn't matter what the house next to you sold for 5 years ago, because FMV is established by sales between willing buyers and sellers. Surely you know this. You cannot (unless you've got great lawyers, apparently) protest your property tax bill by arguing the property you paid $500k for is only worth $250k. But that's what CVS and Walgreens are doing, precisely.

My example was real, here's the case:

https://law.justia.com/cases/wisconsin/court-of-appeals/2016/2015ap000876.html

The court literally held that FMV as determined by actual purchases of land and construction prices and rent weren't FMV, and that a sale of the building didn't reflect FMV. It concludes with almost no discussion except hand waving that the value between buyer and sellers is inflated, as are rents, and it disregarded cost of construction. It's like reading something from another reality. CVS bought a building and land for about $2 million, tore down the existing structure, then spent another $2 million to construct the store, then sold that building and land for about $4.5 million once the store was completed.

That's FMV - either the cost of the building (their total cost in the structure and land was roughly $4 million) or the selling price ($4.5 million) is literally how FMV is determined - comps are only used when those direct approaches aren't feasible. CVS argued the value of something CVS paid $4 million to build was....< $2 million, and the value of something they sold for $4.5 million was < $2 million. It's surreal that the court AGREED.
 

JasperL

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"Bob feeds the hungry, heals the sick, protects the weak and is generally fair and reasonable with everyone he meets. However, Bob supports a group we disagree with politically and therefore Bob must die!"

The amount of suck in an ideology that works as portrayed above is truly disgusting.

Interesting 'analysis' there. What's being argued is Walgreens is corrupt and is using its considerable power and political influence to evade taxes, thereby increasing taxes on the local residents and other businesses.
 

JackA

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"Bob feeds the hungry, heals the sick, protects the weak and is generally fair and reasonable with everyone he meets. However, Bob supports a group we disagree with politically and therefore Bob must die!"

The amount of suck in an ideology that works as portrayed above is truly disgusting.

“Hi. I’m Bob. I belong to a political debate site. I make up totally offensive quotes. Then I post them and
tell everyone how totally offensive they are.”
 

Lutherf

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Why, yes, that's correct, but there is no need for a "comparable" value when you have the ACTUAL value which is a sale price on the open market between a willing buyer and seller. If you buy your house for $500,000, that is the FMV, because that's the price between willing buyer and seller. It doesn't matter what the house next to you sold for 5 years ago, because FMV is established by sales between willing buyers and sellers. Surely you know this. You cannot (unless you've got great lawyers, apparently) protest your property tax bill by arguing the property you paid $500k for is only worth $250k. But that's what CVS and Walgreens are doing, precisely.

My example was real, here's the case:

https://law.justia.com/cases/wisconsin/court-of-appeals/2016/2015ap000876.html

The court literally held that FMV as determined by actual purchases of land and construction prices and rent weren't FMV, and that a sale of the building didn't reflect FMV. It concludes with almost no discussion except hand waving that the value between buyer and sellers is inflated, as are rents, and it disregarded cost of construction. It's like reading something from another reality. CVS bought a building and land for about $2 million, tore down the existing structure, then spent another $2 million to construct the store, then sold that building and land for about $4.5 million once the store was completed.

That's FMV - either the cost of the building (their total cost in the structure and land was roughly $4 million) or the selling price ($4.5 million) is literally how FMV is determined - comps are only used when those direct approaches aren't feasible. CVS argued the value of something CVS paid $4 million to build was....< $2 million, and the value of something they sold for $4.5 million was < $2 million. It's surreal that the court AGREED.

It's not all that crazy.

Especially when it comes to construction, the erection of a specific, specialized structure can actually decrease the resale value of the property. That becomes more of an issue the more a "brand" is associated with a given structure. For example, once you build a McDonald's that building will forever be identified as a McDonald's. The free standing CVS stores have the same issue. The structure is part of the brand and it's essentially worthless on the resale market.
 

Mycroft

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Thanks for agreeing to what I said in rebuttal to your glibly false suggestion about how Walgreens was doing it.

What a waste of time which could have been saved by you not just making things up as you go.

Oh, and Wisconsin voters voted to change the law. The Republicans in Walgreens' pocket probably won't go for it -- we know who the Republicans serve. So we need more news stories about it. Today's news is a start.

I didn't agree to anything you said. I didn't make anything up. I simply quoted the court ruling.

Now, your grousing about how Walgreen lobbied and influenced the WI legislature is just that...grousing. If you don't like the ability of any group, business or organization to influence legislation I see only two options: Try to remove that ability...or go pound sand.
 

Lutherf

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“Hi. I’m Bob. I belong to a political debate site. I make up totally offensive quotes. Then I post them and
tell everyone how totally offensive they are.”

Did you read the article you linked to? That's the exact method the author used to denigrate not just Walgreens but pretty much all corporations.


There is only one way to interpret this -
Walgreens portrays itself as the friendly neighborhood drugstore. It gives flu shots to children, helps communities after storms, donates to charity — and makes feel-good advertisements trumpeting its various good deeds.

But Walgreens also has a tougher side, one you won’t see in those ads. To protect a tax break, the company has allied itself with Wisconsin’s brutally partisan Republican Party.
and that is, "Bob's a generally good guy but we need to kill him because he doesn't agree with our politics".
 
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