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Flip Side of The “Dark Store” Tax Loophole

February 24, 2017

The state tax code prevision more commonly known as “dark store theory” allows any business, of any size to “have its real estate assets qualified as vacant so that its appraised value won’t be linked to the business’s profit.”. Rahul Patel, local lawyer and managing partner at Patel | Gaines, flips the recent media portrayal of retailers attacking local communities via “dark store theory” by proposing the idea that in the long run continuing to tax vacant retailers at full “highest and best use value” might actually hurt the community more than they realize. The idea is that unlike residential property, commercial property has no tax cap, they are valued on their potential to be successful instead of on their raw value, substantial increases in property value and taxes which owners have not accounted for must be paid nonetheless. This in turn takes money away from capital allocated for renovation, maintenance, and structural issues, the higher tax values also deter tenants away, resulting in lost income for the owner, and create a problem in attracting new tenants. Patel notes how increased property taxes are starting to become a concern for developers as well.

Chat with a lawyer: The flip side of the “dark store” tax loophole