Sunday River golf course appeals tax case to state

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NEWRY — Newry Holdings has appealed to the State Board of Property Tax Review over being denied tax abatements by the town, according to town officials.

The town is represented in the appeal by attorney James Katsiaficas.

Newry Holdings purchased the Sunday River Country Club golf course last year, although original owner Harris Golf has contested the sale.

The appeal is for a denied abatement for the Jan. 1 to June 30, 2017, tax commitment, as well as for the July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018, commitment, town officials said.

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Last year, Newry switched its fiscal year from January to December to July to June.

The 2017 tax bill was based on a 2016 assessment of $4.72 million, according to the town. Assessing agent Bob Gingras had agreed to lower that assessment to $3.36 million for fiscal year 2017-18, but Newry Holdings’ request for an assessment of $2.55 million was denied for both tax commitments, according to town officials.

In lowering the assessment to $3.36 million, Gingras cited the condition of the golf course and its limited seasonal use.

If the appeal is approved, officials said the town would owe Newry Holdings $9,769 in taxes paid for fiscal year 2017 and $7,910 for fiscal year 2017-18.

Town officials also said last spring that in 2006, the values of golf course lots  were all decreased by 30 percent because lots sold in 2005 were selling for less than their Newry-assessed value. Gingras reduced the assessments again in 2017 by roughly 30 percent, according to the town.

Despite the drops in assessments, the town gained valuation overall last year because of new construction. The total valuation increase for 2017 was $8.07 million, while the valuation decrease was $5.15 million.

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