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Shining a Light on Dark Stores

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Three Recent Dark Store Appeals, Highest and Best Use, and the Fee Simple Interest
Jack L. Van Coevering & Thomas K. Dillion
The Michigan Assessor (Michigan Assessor Association)
November 1, 2021

The Michigan Court of Appeals and the Tax Tribunal have begun to question critical aspects of the “dark store theory,” particularly the theory’s required use of vacant stores as comparable sales and leases and its theoretical rejection of the cost approach. Two recent cases illustrate the trend. A third highlights fundamental legal questions to be answered on appeal.