WASHINGTON — Wal-Mart Stores has engaged in a systematic effort to challenge tax assessments on its properties, according to a report published today by Good Jobs First here. The Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer in turn questioned the accuracy of the study’s numbers and defended its right to challenge tax assessments that appear to be incorrect, a company spokesman told SN. “Unwittingly, Wal-Mart appears to be confirming the argument often raised by neighborhood groups that the construction of one of the company’s giant stores will reduce property values,” Greg LeRoy, director of Good Jobs First, said in a statement. Good Jobs identifies itself as a policy center promoting corporate and government accountability, and according to the published reports was 3% funded by the United Food and Commercial Workers union, a longtime Wal-Mart foe. John Smiley, a spokesman for Wal-Mart, said the company reviews its taxes annually but does not have a policy to challenge assessments.
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