Expensive properties—such as apartment buildings, warehouses, or home improvement centers—typically see property values increase by a smaller margin than the median value increase in a local community's revaluation year.
This is the equalization process. It is a fair process until well-to-do property owners abuse the legal process. These property owners have the means to hire legal firms to appeal their equalized values. Legal firms working on behalf of such clients can appeal values on property, which can reduce the property taxes paid as a result of the equalization process.
Some of these families may be employees or clients of these businesses seeking excessive relief. This causes a financial burden on those families which impacts their discretionary income. That shrinking of their family spending power may impact decisions they make about where and how they spend their hard earned money. That financial stress impacts every retailer's bottom line. It impacts a community’s fiscal well-being too.
Property taxes are a minuscule expense on the bottom line of large corporations.
However, it is a major source of revenue for local communities in Tennessee. It is Tennessee’s primary funding source for local education. The only parties who really benefit from appeals of big box retailers' property values are the attorneys and tax representatives. Hundreds of thousands of dollars have already been spent in Tennessee to further lower property taxes on properties that already had their taxes lowered.
The now reduced tax dollars—which were spent by Tennessee communities to defend the equalized property values on large properties—could go to better causes. For instance, these tax dollars could be spent on education or improving the local police forces.