Did Wisconsin Developer Terrence Wall Create Delaware ‘Office’ to Avoid State Tax Responsibility?

Address Used by T. Wall Properties Featured in NY Times Article about Tax Dodging

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MADISON, Wis. — The Delaware address of the “principal office” of T. Wall Properties, LLC, a business owned by Wisconsin developer Terrence Wall, is the same address the New York Times said is used specifically “to help corporations avoid paying taxes in other states.” 2

“There is no evidence on Terrence Wall’s business website that he builds anything in Delaware,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. “It would appear Terrence Wall’s only Delaware construction project was building a shelter to dodge his obligation to Wisconsin taxpayers.”

According to the company’s website: “T. Wall Properties is a Madison-based, award winning commercial real estate development firm that owns more than 2.4 million square feet of space and over 750 acres of land making the company one of the largest developers in the State of Wisconsin.” The site for T. Wall properties lists 13 developments in the Madison area and two developments in Mesa, Arizona. There are no properties listed for Delaware.2

Records filed by Wall with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions list a Middleton, Wisconsin address for his local address, but also list the company as a “Foreign Limited Liability Company” with a principal address at 1209 Orange Street, Wilmington, Delaware.

Tax experts interviewed in the Times’ article believe non-Delaware businesses used the 1209 Orange Street address to dodge their state taxes. Tax watchdog and expert Professor David Brunori said in the article, “It is a vehicle for avoiding otherwise legitimate tax liabilities at a time when states need money badly.”

Wisconsin has taken steps to close corporate loopholes which have cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars, including the so-called “Las Vegas Loophole.” The “Las Vegas Loophole” involved companies establishing a phantom “headquarters” in a state without state corporate income taxes, like Nevada and Delaware, allowing them to avoid paying state corporate income taxes. The loophole lost Wisconsin an estimated $80 million annually.

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1. New York Times, 5/29/09; http://www.onewisconsinnow.org/page/-/media/www-nytimes-com_2009_05_30_business_30delaware-html_4p0vbiyv.pdf

2. Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions, accessed 9/23/09; https://www.wdfi.org/apps/CorpSearch/Details.aspx?entityID=T043558&hash=327772790&searchFunctionID=5687dab2-8f07-4a77-9328-745d92f473b0&type=Simple&q=T.+Wall

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One Wisconsin Now specializes in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.