Walmart wants the town of Arcadia to shave nearly $3 million off its assessment for its Supercenter on Route 31 in the village.
However, the town’s assessor is confident that his assessment will stand up to any court test.
Walmart, identified as Wal-Mart Real Estate Trust 1813 in its petition filed with state Supreme Court in Wayne County, claims that its $9,334,900 assessment by the town of Arcadia — which provides property valuation for the village of Newark as well — is “excessive, overvalued, unlawful (illegal).” It asks that a more accurate assessment of its property at 6788 Route 31 is $6,720,000.
Arcadia Town Assessor Larry Quinn isn’t buying it and said it’s a ploy that the mega-retailer uses in smaller communities to reduce its tax liabilities.
“They focus on smaller communities thinking they’ll make a deal with them,” he said. “I won’t do it.”
Quinn noted that the Walmart Supercenter is a store that the company upgraded nearly a decade ago. As part of that expansion, the company received a 10-year scaled tax exemption that started at a 50 percent reduction in its assessment. That value rises each year until the property is assessed at full value, which happens in 2018, he said. Walmart is currently paying taxes on an assessment of $8,631,955, he said.
The company filed a property assessment grievance with the town earlier this year and appeared before the Assessment Board of Review in the spring to argue its case, Quinn noted. Its request for a lower assessment was rejected, he said. It filed its action against the town in late July.
The Wayne County Board of Supervisors has agreed to help the town pay for the legal costs associated with the lawsuit, said Quinn, as have the other taxing entities — the village and the Newark Central School District.