Nodaway County Assessor Rex Wallace received a letter on July 15 from Jerome Wallach, representing The Wallach Law Firm, St. Louis, announcing he nor his client, Walmart, would be attending the Nodaway County Board of Equalization hearing on July 16 in Maryville.
Wallach explained since he is representing Walmart at four other county Board of Equalization hearings on the same day, he could not physically travel to them all, so he opted to not go to any. Instead, he requested the board, which is made up of the three county commissioners, consider a “no change” order to his appeal. The appeal was to pay only 40 percent of the calculated property taxes prepared by Wallace.
This would allow Wallach to address the state tax commission for all other Walmarts in the state: 47 counties have already been ruled on at the state level and only one county, Vernon, reduced the tax bill, according to Wallace.
Wallace testified to the board there are three methods his office figures property tax assessment: the actual cost of construction of the real property, the commercial enterprises’ income or the sale of a comparable property. Wallace used the latter to calculate the taxes for both the Walmart Supercenter and the gas facility, Murphy’s. The retail store, which covers 16 acres, was figured originally at 152,300 square foot at $7.3 million, based on a recent sale of a much smaller structure, Walgreens, at $5.4 million. The four acres which lie behind the store are figured at the agriculture rate of valuation, since at one time the land was a hayfield, so it is an additional $3,100. The assessed valuation for the Walmart Supercenter was $2,494,200 which amounted to a 2018 tax statement of $204,577.59.
Wallach’s appeal on behalf of Walmart was to lower the assessed valuation to $1,254,560, so the tax bill would be $104,380.
Wallace explained due to the modern method of measuring structures, the 152,300 square feet was actually calculated at 168,074 square feet currently. So the new revelation of the actual size of the retail establishment would mean the valuation would be $8,161,000 figured at $46.70 per square foot. This would mean the structure’s value was now $7.7 million.
The board agreed with Wallace and will send the findings to the state tax commission, which is made up of three individuals. While the county awaits the verdict from the state commission, the tax funds will be held in escrow and not distributed to the appropriate taxing entities, including the school district, which would equal several thousand dollars.