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Monday, January 08, 2018

Facing Little Opposition, Emboldened Dark Store Parasites Roll Wisconsin Communities

Not too long ago, elected officials sitting on their hands to allow an outrage like the Dark Store problem to fester would be facing an army of pitchforks and torches, or the Dark Store businesses themselves would see organized boycotts from the local citizenry. Apparently, those days are over.

Nowadays, either people just don't care or they don't want to be targeted by the corporate media or their social media tools for engaging in activities of civic dissent. Either way, the Dark Store problem, much like TIF District "incentives" cash grabs, seems to be just another one of those unexciting issues about trickle-down economic policies the public prefers to ignore.

It is why when I read yet another story about the Dark Store scourge in Wisconsin, this time infesting West Allis, city officials there appear to be firing blanks when talking about a major property tax shift to hit homeowners.

It's the same old warning we heard in Janesville.

MKE Journal Sentinel Excerpt:
If the legislature doesn't close the loophole, allowing the dark-store argument to stand, other property taxpayers will see their taxes shoot up, officials said.

"Costs will be picked up by residents and small businesses," said West Allis Mayor Dan Devine.

"People need to realize a tax shift is going on." said Todd Michaels, village administrator in Greendale, a community that could be hit hard if the loophole isn't closed.

Or, Wisconsin cities, counties and school districts could take the advice from the state's most powerful political business cartel and start cutting personnel and services by an equal amount - instead of raising taxes - AND make it show ...every day. Why not? The WMC would have their backs. The rule is; if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen.

But unfortunately, with the year's most important and busiest shopping season behind us, the best window of opportunity the taxpaying citizenry and shoppers had to impact dark stores passed without a whimper. There were no "How the Dark Store stole Christmas" or "Silent night, Dark Store fright" messages, pickets or protests at any of the Janesville dark stores I drove by. It was by appearance, business as usual. People just don't care.

And, Janesville municipal officials didn't help much either. After crying about the Dark Store lawsuits and delivering the tax shift warning, officials did not make budget cuts. Instead, they increased spending and added personnel when presented with a $583K earmark from state coffers. The WMC nailed the municipality's faux sincerity. To use the earmark for leverage or a statement against the dark stores and lost revenue wasn't even in the equation.

So pardon me if I call BS when city officials make a bunch of noise about the Dark Store tax shift. When it came their time to show - they folded. History says their outrage is hollow and they don't deserve our support.

1 comment:

Jake formerly of the LP said...

Great point. You want a special session to get people off of welfare? How about ending the dark store exemption that gives away millions to big box stores at the expense of everyone else.

WMC is greedhead slime that has zero to do with Main Street businesses and communities. Any business that is part of that cartel is one that should be avoided at all costs.

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