The Brunswick Walmart, located at 15 Tibbett’s Drive. The location is assessed at $16.9 million, but the company contests it is really only worth about $10 million. (Hannah LaClaire / The Times Record)

Walmart is back in the headlines. And again, it’s for being a bad corporate neighbor. 

The corporate giant that sits upon the top of the Fortune 500 list thinks it’s being overtaxed in Brunswick. 

According to reporting by The Times Record’s Hannah LaClaire,  the retailer wants Brunswick to slash its taxable value by nearly $7 million for 2017. Walmart thinks its building off Cook’s Corner, assessed at $16.9 million, “exceeds the property’s fair market value.” 

“This is part of a very broad effort, where they (Walmart) go around the country challenging property tax valuations,” according to Stephen Langsdorf, the town attorney. 

Two years ago, Walmart had its own (and according to Langsdorf, flawed) appraisal that valued its store at only about $10 million. Walmart lost its appeal to the local assessors and now is appealing to the state. 

If Walmart is successful, $128,000 would be sucked out of Brunswick’s coffers at a time where the town is reinvesting in its school and fire departments. 

Walmart’s shenanigans have already cost taxpayers.  

The town has had to hire an appraiser to meet Walmart’s challenge, which is expected to cost  $6,500-$10,000.  

This is all part of a tax avoidance scheme the company, which in 2018 made $6.6 billion in profits, has pulled in communities throughout Maine and the nation. 

Many shop at Walmart not strictly by choice, but by economic necessity. But if Walmart continues these business practices, those that can spend their dollars elsewhere should. 

Brunswick has made some needed improvements over the past few years that required millions in investment: The new police station, town hall and Emerson fire station that’s right down the street from – you guessed it – Walmart. A new central fire station and the replacement for Coffin Elementary School will require millions more. 

These aren’t frivolous expenditures, rather they’re investments needed to keep the town safe and functional. It’s upon the shoulders of taxpayers – both corporations and people – that this burden lies. All of us must pay our fair share. 

That includes Walmart.