The city of Ripon was forced to repay Sears Holdings Corp. nearly $32,000 in back taxes late this past summer.

   But, unlike most back-taxes lawsuits filed, this one doesn’t appear to be a “dark-store” property tax appeal.

   Instead, it seems the change in property taxes is based entirely on human error.

   “The property tax was reduced due to an error in square footage,” Ripon City Administrator Lori Rich said. “Our current assessor measured the building [again] and made the correction.”

   The claim was initiated in January 2017 after a nine-month effort to recoup property taxes at 1200 W. Fond du Lac St., otherwise known as Ripon’s Kmart (which is owned by Sears Holdings).

   At that time, Sears officials claimed the property was grossly overvalued, based on a formal “Claim for Excessive Assessment” made to the city of Ripon.

Read the full story, including more details about the measurement error, in the Nov. 1, 2018 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.