Plaza in Slinger along Highway 60 is seen under cloudy
skies Wednesday morning. The property’s owner is
involved in a dispute with the village over how much the
property is worth for tax purposes when there are many
vacancies and empty storefronts.
SLINGER — Could
there be an end in sight in the property assessment
dispute between the village and the owners of Dove
In 2017 the owner of Dove Plaza, Suresh Misra, began a
legal dispute with the village over the tax assessment
the village had set on the property. The village said
the property was worth about $3.1 million, while Misra
and his legal team claimed because the mall was largely
vacant, it was worth much less — about $1.5 million.
Misra is a family practice physician in Milwaukee. Dove
Plaza is at 1054 E. Commerce Blvd.
Village Administrator Margaret Wilber said Tuesday
night at the end of the Village Board’s regular meeting
at Village Hall, a closed session was held where the
village attorney in the case provided an update on the
matter to village leaders.
“I can’t really discuss what took place in closed
session,” Wilber said. “But we expect to have something
for the board to actually vote on at their Sept. 16
Wilber would provide no other details.
In early 2018 Misra attempted to convince the village’s
Board of Review to reduce the tax assessment from about
$3.1 million to about $1.5 million. The panel did not
change the assessed value. In February 2018 the village
then 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 said in 2018. '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.'
Wilber said Wednesday that Dove Plaza’s case lost some
of its steam after Dove Plaza had been placed on the
market for sale at a price higher than Misra had claimed
in the dispute than the property was actually worth in
At the Board of Review meeting agent Gary Kohlenberg,
working on behalf of Dove Plaza, said the building has
not had full tenant capacity for some time and that only
53 percent of the building was being rented then. He
stated that the owner has done everything to fill the
According to the minutes from that meeting, Kohlenberg
said Misra had hired several agencies to market the
building, he had 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 at that
time showed the lack of supporting evidence provided for
Dove Plaza’s position.
The village’s assessor said last year 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 village’s insurance carrier has been involved in the
legal dispute on the village’s behalf.
Misra’s argument mirrors that of the “dark store
loophole” used by big box retailers such as Walmart and
Stores across Wisconsin and other parts of the country
have increasingly argued local governments have been
overvaluing — and thus, overtaxing — their properties.
The companies have sought courts’ help in reducing
assessments by claiming their stores should be valued no
differently than nearby empty or “dark” stores. In turn,
municipalities have urged state governments to pass
legislation that would close the dark store loophole.