Indiana officials worried about tax cuts for big-box stores

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Some local government officials around Indiana are worried that big-box retailers can still successfully push for large cuts in their property tax bills despite a state law passed this year that placed restrictions on the practice.

At issue is whether retailers such as Meijer or CVS should be assessed for property taxes based on their value as active stores or as vacant buildings up for sale.

Local officials fear big tax revenue losses after Meijer won an appeal cutting an Indianapolis store’s 2012 assessed value of $19.7 million by nearly two-thirds. Marion County Assessor Joseph O’Connor tells The Indianapolis Star such reductions shift more property taxes onto homeowners.

Retailers’ attorney and lobbyist Stephen Paul tells the Indianapolis Business Journal the businesses have tried to cooperate with local government officials.

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