Ten additional civil lawsuits — seeking more than $458,000 in property tax refunds — have been filed against the city of Eau Claire.
Six of those have been filed by KT Real Estate Holdings of La Crosse, concerning six Kwik Trip locations in Eau Claire; two by Menard Inc., concerning its locations at 3210 N. Clairemont Ave. and 3619 S. Hastings Way; one by Eau Claire East Motel, concerning Country Inn & Suites, 3614 Gateway Drive; and one by 4750, a New York-based limited liability company, regarding 1201 S. Hastings Way, the location of the former Mega East grocery store.
The city hasn’t yet answered the claims, filed in Eau Claire County Court.
City attorney Stephen Nick couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday. On Monday, in talking about a similar suit filed by Chippewa Valley Partners, in care of Walmart in Bentonville, Ark., he said city officials think “the assessments are reasonable and … done uniformly.”
However, each of the suits contends the properties were overassessed.
For 2017, the city set the assessment for 1201 S. Hastings Way at $8 million, according to court records. In its suit, 4750 claims the assessment should be no higher than $1.82 million and is asking a judge to confirm that, along with making a determination that the 2017 taxes for the property should be no higher than $41,823 and ordering a judgment for a refund of $141,704 plus interest.
Before filing lawsuits, attorneys representing the various claimants filed claims for excessive assessment with City Clerk Carrie Riepl after the city’s Board of Review sustained the assessments set by the city assessor. The city didn’t respond to the claims; therefore, they were disallowed.
Refunds sought by each court plaintiff range from $9,607 for the Kwik Trip property at 1506 Black Ave. to the $141,704 sought for the former Mega East property, according to court records.
In its suits against the city, KT Real Estate Holdings claims the six Eau Claire Kwik Trips were taxed $236,447, $76,533 more than it believes the convenience stores should have been, according to court filings. Menard Inc., which paid $481,326 in property taxes for the two properties, is seeking refunds totaling $198,812, and Eau Claire East Hotel, which claims its property tax bill for Country In & Suites should have been $36,270, is asking for a refund of $41,550.
Over the years, a handful of retailers, including Bonstores Realty One, owner of Younkers, and Sears Holdings Corp., have filed similar suits against the city.
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