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Friday, September 30, 2016

Lawyered Up For Lower Tax Assessments, The Gazette Owes Janesville An Explanation

Once you start heading down a slippery slope, oh never mind...

The Janesville Gazette posted another story about several more businesses getting in line to challenge their property tax assessments using the so-called "dark store" theory.

The problem for the newspaper is in between this new story and their last story about local businesses they described "as preying on the city" in their editorial for seeking lower assessments, the Gazette ownership, Bliss Communications, lawyered up themselves and won refunds and substantially lower tax assessments on their two major properties in Janesville. For some reason, the newspaper let that go unreported and without an explanation from their CEO Skip Bliss.

But by passing over and not including Bliss Com among local businesses lawyering up for lower assessments using the dark store theory, the newspaper staff shows they are either beholden to their paycheck and were silenced, or that Bliss Com used means other than the dark store theory to win his case. If the latter is true, it becomes even more troubling because the ruling for Bliss was carried out by the state, not through local arbitration.

Keep in mind Skip Bliss sits on the WMC board of directors and is a huge fan of Scott Walker and the republican party. By not reporting on this, the newspaper leaves the door wide open to speculate the lower assessments were payback for Bliss' political endorsements and support.

With that, and in the spirit of community relations and transparency, I believe Bliss should hold a press conference to explain why the state lowered his property tax assessments and his motivation for seeking them, particularly since his newspaper carries out a campaign for higher tax obligations from everyone else.

Bliss could help set the record straight for himself and the others. But without a clear explanation and Janesville businesses turning into a tax hostile community, perhaps it is time for Janesville to just fill the potholes and call it a day.


RNR - The Gazette Demanded Lower Tax Assessments, Now Janesville Gets To Pay The Price

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