Slinger trustees reject Dove Plaza’s claim of excessive assessment


March 6, 2018

Multiple signs advertising for leasing options for stores in the Dove Plaza are seen in Slinger in this Feb. 5 photo. The owner of the Dove Plaza is fighting the village's value of the property of about $3.1 million. The owner claims the value is more like $1.5 million because there are so many vacancies there.
Daily News

SLINGER — The Village’s Board of Trustees, at their regular meeting Monday night, unanimously rejected a claim by the owners of Dove Plaza that the village has placed an excessive tax assessment on the property.

At last May’s Board of Review representatives of the property’s owner Suresh Misra attempted to convince village officials to reduce the tax assessment from about $3.1 million to about $1.5 million.

Last month the village received a notice of claim from attorneys representing Misra and his business seeking the same reduction in the assessment and a refund from the village of about $25,100, plus interest, from the amount they feel was excessively paid to the village.

“Their claim was denied at the Board of Review and they really had a lack of evidence to try to prove their point,” said Village President and Board of Review member Russ Brandt. “They could have presented more evidence on their behalf, but they chose not to. They could also have taken the claim to circuit court, but they didn’t.”

Both Brandt and Village Treasurer Margaret Wilber said they both felt circuit court would be the business’s next step in the dispute.

“While in the past the village has sometimes let the 90-day response time lapse since a lack of action on the village’s part is considered a denial of the claim, Attorney (Jason) Gehring pointed out that taking no action on the claim expands the time allowed for a possible taxpayer’s response from 90 days to six years,” Wilber said.

Dove Plaza’s representatives are claiming that because their a large number of business vacancies at the Plaza that the assessed value should be much lower than the village contends. No representatives of Dove Plaza were at Monday night’s meeting, but at the May Board of Review meeting Agent Gary Kohlenberg said the building has not had full tenant capacity for some time and that only 53 percent of the building is currently being rented. He stated that the owner has done everything to fill the vacancies.

According to the minutes from the May meeting, Kohlenberg said Misra has hired several agencies to market the building, he has lowered the rent, and he also stated he felt if the owner were to sell the building he could not sell it for anywhere near the assessed value. He stated that the revenue/lack of revenue from tenants needs to be considered to determine the real value.

Kohlenberg was also asked at the Board of Review meeting if there was a current financial statement or any of the leases for review. Kohlenberg stated he did not have any leases or statements from 2016 which Brandt said Monday night showed the lack of supporting evidence provided for Dove Plaza’s position.

The Village Board was also told that the village’s assessor said he felt the assessment was reasonable based on current market rents, leasing and sales, gross potential, and the fact that the actual lease documents are not available for review. He also noted that in 2009 the building was assessed at $3.6 million, so the assessment had been reduced over the years.