Ikea loses bid to slash St. Louis taxes | Local Business

ST. LOUIS — The state has ruled against global retailer Ikea’s push to reduce its city property taxes, but still agreed to cut millions of dollars off the local store’s valuation.

Ikea, known for its modern, flat-pack furniture, had petitioned the state to slash the value of its local store from $75.7 million to $23.4 million because it said the store, which opened in 2015, was “functionally obsolete” and therefore overvalued.

The company argued, in part, that its building at Forest Park and Vandeventer avenues was “functionally obsolete the day the last coat of paint was put on.” The highest and best use of the property, Ikea said, was to demolish it.

But Missouri’s State Tax Commission, which hears appeals from taxpayers after they go through their local taxing agency, disagreed, ruling Friday that the company did not provide enough evidence to substantiate its claims.

The state agreed with the St. Louis Board of Equalization’s determination that the property should be revalued at $62.5 million.

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St. Louis Assessor Michael Dauphin said his office was “satisfied with the State Tax Commission’s very thorough, well-assembled opinion.” Ikea did not immediately return a request for comment.

The Europe-based company opened its 377,000-square-foot store here in 2015 after the city granted it $32 million in tax increment financing. The subsidy is part of the $168 million TIF city officials approved for the Cortex technology district in 2012.

Ikea spent at least $100 million to build the store, officials said at the time. It is the only location in eastern Missouri.

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Steph Kukuljan • 314-340-8506 @StephKukuljan on Twitter [email protected]


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