A federal bankruptcy judge has dismissed a claim by Kmart that it had been overcharged millions in property taxes by several hundred cities and counties, including more than two dozen in California.
Judge Jack B. Schmetterer dismissed Kmart's lawsuit because the retailer had not tried first to resolve its dispute at the state or local level in each case, according to an order he issued from his Chicago courtroom this week.
Some of the California jurisdictions named in the lawsuit were El Dorado, Kern, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Tulare and Ventura counties.
"The judge basically said, 'If you want me to exercise jurisdiction, you have to explain why it is I have jurisdiction,' " said Tom Parker, an El Dorado County deputy counsel. "The judge certainly felt this was a vaguely worded complaint."