Kohl's Department Stores, Inc. – Property Tax Appeal

Ball Janik LLP was retained to appeal a property tax increase relating to a former Mervyn’s store at a regional retail mall. Kohl’s had purchased the store and installed its improvements package, leading to the tax increase.

The case involved an exception to Oregon's property tax limitation cap. Typically, new construction is regarded as an add-on to assessed valuation, leading to taxes beyond the capped amount. The case involved a direct challenge to this customary practice. Ball Janik successfully argued that the new construction also needed to enhance the property's intrinsic value.

Ball Janik handled all legal aspects of the appeal, working with Kohl’s outside appraisers. The primary issue in the case focused on a complex legal/appraisal analysis as to whether the assessor could legally add value (and a tax increase) based on Kohl’s unique improvement package.

The successful appeal reduced the assessor’s tax value by over $3.2 million, generating a sizeable tax refund and reducing the future tax liability by several hundred thousand dollars over the tenure of Kohl’s ownership.

Jack L. Orchard handled the case for Ball Janik.

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