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Lodge Kohler assessment lowered by millions

By Kevin Boneske
Staff Writer

ASHWAUBENON – After having more than a $17-million difference between what Lodge Kohler was going to be assessed for and what the law firm representing the development argued should be its assessed value, the parties met in the middle.

The dispute had been considered at the village’s Board of Review hearing Aug. 29, when board members agreed with assessor Mike Denor, who made a determination that Lodge Kohler, located in the Titletown District across from Lambeau Field on Ridge Road, had an assessed value of $28,656,900.

The objection filed with the board by Kristina Somers of the Reinhart law firm sought an assessed value of $11,604,100.

Given the three possible approaches for making an assessment – income, market and cost – Denor said the value he provided the board used the cost approach related to how much it would cost to develop the property.

Denor said the company had previously been reluctant to share income information with him.

But following the board meeting, Denor said the company provided him financial figures to show Lodge Kohler’s income projections weren’t being met with what the business generated.

Lodge Kohler, which opened in 2017, has described itself as an AAA four-diamond hotel featuring 144 guest rooms outfitted with custom-designed Kohler bathrooms and bedrooms.

The property also includes the Kohler Waters Spa, a top-floor restaurant and bar known as Taverne in the Sky, the indoor/outdoor Leaps & Bounds Café serving breakfast and lunch on the main level and a collection of Green Bay Packers memorabilia.

Denor said an investor interested in buying a property would want to know the cash flow, which would relate to the income approach for determining assessed value.

Denor said he worked with Somers to settle on an assessed value based on income and the two reached a “handshake” agreement for the property at $16.8 million.

The 2018 property tax bill from the Brown County treasurer’s office includes that assessed value with the 3.886 acres of land valued at just over $3.8 million and the property improvements listed at just under $13 million.

Lodge Kohler’s total property tax bill for 2018 is $293,688.

Because the assessed value of Lodge Kohler is being based on income, Denor said he will be reviewing the property annually to determine the assessment, noting it won’t be going down from the $16.8 million, but could increase in value related to business performance.

The Kohler Co. indicated in a statement it is pleased to have reached an agreement with the village on the assessed value of Lodge Kohler.

“Our view has always been that we are more than willing to pay our fair share of property taxes,” the company statement said. “Lodge Kohler is a tremendous asset in Ashwaubenon. We look forward to our future together and contributing to the local community’s growing tax base.”

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