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Minneapolis Star Tribune says Menards has a history of trying to get the property valuations of its stores lowered

Posted: Sun, Sep 9, 2018 5:06 PM

Supporters of a bid by Menards to build a store in Freeport have pointed to the $72,000 in property tax collections it would produce for the City of Decorah government.  But an article in Sunday's Minneapolis Star Tribune suggests city officials shouldn't be too quick to count their money.

The article ( says Menards has filed 229 property valuation appeals in the past seven years--an average of over 32 appeals per year.  It also profiles a court battle in Moorhead, which cost the city and county $200,000 to defend.  Menards asked for a 64 percent reduction in the valuation of the Moorhead area store.  It lost that bid--but was given a 33 percent reduction.

In another case in Minnesota, Menards reached an agreement with Winona County on a $275,000 refund in property taxes.

Menards representatives declined to comment for the Star-Tribune story, but a representative of their legal firm said Menards "is willing to pay twice their fair share, but not three or four times."

A former county assessor in the Twin Cities estimates that if the 375 big-box stores in Minnesota win similar reductions for their buildings, local and state governments would lose between $70 to $80 million dollars.