Generally speaking, I hate K-Mart. As far as I am concerned, they singed a deal with the devil when they backed down in the face of the commie mommies and agreed to the fat bitch Rosie O'Donnel's demand that they leave the second amendment at the curb side.
However, apparently, there is a new team in place and they are the fiercely challenging overzealous tax authorities of cities (large and small) across the country. (WSJ, subscription may be required)
In a blitz of legal filings, Kmart has sued local governments from Anchorage to Palm Beach County, Fla. It has had the bankruptcy court issue hundreds of summonses in recent months and demanded swift responses from many small jurisdictions that often lack the funds or expertise to defend themselves in the Chicago proceedings.
. . . .
Government officials are fuming. "Fraud," cried Bibb County, Ga., in a court filing answering the lawsuit. Ventura County, Calif., called the suit a "shotgun" tactic designed to create "either a default judgment or a quick and advantageous forced settlement." Some jurisdictions have banded together to share the costs of fighting back.
By challenging parties in so many locales, Kmart is taking a big risk. While discount retailers normally bend over backward to keep up community relations, Kmart could end up engendering widespread disdain. Should Kmart ultimately prevail, many officials say, they will be forced to either cut back on local services or resort to tax increases.
Good for K-Mart. If you've got an online subscription, read the article. If not, pick up a copy of the journal at the newsstand (it'll be he smartest $1 investment you ever made). According to the article, the best defense the local towns seem to have is that they lack the resources to ascertain the proper valuation of the K-Mart property. Thats just too bad, isn't it.
They overcharge (ie: steal from) a vulnerable tax payer and now that they are challenged claim that they have neither the resources to defend themselves or to continue their current operations without the illicit gains.
Well, cry me a F'ing river. Perhaps they should consider cutting back on some other services (or even lower the local tax rates in the hope of attracting more employers) and living within their means.
Of course, now these officials are all predicting massive teacher layoffs because of the K-Mart tax challenges. What they haven't asked though is how much more money they would lose if K-Mart went out of business altogether and shut its doors (as has happened in many many other localities). Not only would they lose the tax on the value of K-Mart goods, they would also lose a substantial portion of real estate taxes on all other properties in town as the local real estate market was brought down with K-Mart, as well as losing the sales tax on goods sold and the income tax on the K-Mart employees. In fact, its a double hit concerning those unemployed K-Mart workers. In addition to losing income tax, the local communities would then have to fork over unemployment compensation to the unemployed as well as increasing the amount spent on welfare.
The problem here, as in so many areas, is that neither liberals nor local government officials think the law applies to them or their pet issues. Heck, they just don't think, period!