Walmart is suing to reduce the assessment of its distribution center in the Johnstown Industrial Park by more than half to $16 million.
The retailer filed suit against the city of Johnstown in State Supreme Court in Fulton County. It is also seeking to reduce assessments of several smaller adjoining properties.
Walmart’s lawsuit alleges the city’s assessment on the property and building at 300 Enterprise Road are “at a higher percentage of value than the assessed value of other real property on the assessment roll.”
The corporation wants the city to reduce the $35.6 million assessment on the 868,000-square-foot distribution center by $19.9 million to $15.7 million. Walmart wants this new value to take effect for the 2012-2013 tax roll.
“The complainant believes this property should be assessed at 52.5 percent of full value,” the lawsuit contends. Walmart calls its current assessment “unlawful, incorrect and erroneous.”
City of Johnstown Treasurer Michael Gifford said the city collects approximately $600,000 in property taxes from the distribution center. He said “any loss is a big hit” when it comes to the effect on the city’s budget.
Gifford said the city has referred the lawsuit to its counsel, Daniel Vincelette of Albany. He refused to speculate on the city’s chances in the upcoming court case. “It depends. We don’t have that many and it is fair is say every situation and case is different,” he said.
Walmart is also challenging the $5.5 million assessment of its store in the town of Johnstown at 233 Fifth Ave. The corporation is seeking to reduce the store’s assessment by 58.5 percent to $2.3 million.