Plaza in Slinger along Highway 60 is seen under cloudy
skies on Sept. 4.
SLINGER — Village officials and
owners of Dove Plaza have agreed to a settlement in a property
assessment dispute that’s been ongoing nearly two years.
As part of the settlement, the village agreed to a new property tax
assessment for the strip mall, about $2.4 million, and agreed to pay
back about $21,150 in property taxes from two years.
In 2017 Dove Plaza owner Suresh Misra began the legal dispute with
the village. The village said the property was worth about $3.1
million, while Misra and his legal team tried to use the “dark
store” argument when they 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. 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.
“The village will be out about 34 percent of that,” said Village
Administrator Margaret Wilber. “We do go back to the other (taxing)
jurisdictions and ask them to refund their portion.”
The claim by Dove Plaza was denied earlier 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 in
Wilber said last week that the parties were close to an agreement.
She also said that Dove Plaza’s case lost some of its steam after
Dove Plaza had been for sale at a price higher than Misra had
claimed in the dispute that the property was actually worth in his
At the Board of Review meeting very early in the process, 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 vacancies.
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.
Wilber said the village attorney also reviewed the settlement
proposal before the Village Board was asked to vote on it during
Monday night’s closed session.
“He (Misra) had it on the market for well over he was originally
claiming, but it’s been on market now for close to a year at this
level, it’s still for sale and they have many vacancies so the
market conditions justified reducing the amount,” Wilber said.