Washington County assessor raises alert on 'dark store theory'

Posted: October 16, 2017 at 1 a.m.

The Lowe’s at 3231 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. is seen Oct. 5 in Fayetteville. Big-box stores want lower property values and soon may try to change the way property is assessed to get it, said Russell Hill, Washington County assessor. The change, if allowed, could cost schools, cities and the county millions in tax revenue. Nationwide, big-box store officials want open stores to be compared with abandoned stores when appraisers assess property values, according to a 2017 report from the International Association of Assessing Officials.

FAYETTEVILLE -- The Washington County assessor is concerned big-box store operators want to change the way property is assessed in Arkansas so they pay less property taxes.

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