JAY — Verso Androscoggin LLC filed an appeal Friday afternoon with the town, claiming that the $829,258 tax abatement selectpersons granted for the 2013 tax year is wrong and unlawful. Verso claims the property remains substantially overvalued.

Jay selectpersons reduced the valuation of Verso’s property from $815.4 million to $591.9 million for the 2013 tax year on Jan. 6. It was a decrease of $223.5 million.

Verso maintains that the mill and its property should have been valued at $460 million for the April 1, 2013, tax year before exempt property was subtracted.

Verso had filed a tax abatement request for that year in February 2014 requesting a $469 million reduction in valuation.

The property in question includes the pulp and paper mill, power generation facilities and hydroelectric dams.

Verso’s attorneys, Jonathan Block and John Aromando, said in the appeal that in calculating the tax refund due Verso, the decision used a higher rate of taxation at $17.51 per $1,000 of property valuation, than the rest of the taxpayers in the town of Jay who paid $14 per $1,000 of valuation in 2013.


Among the legal grounds for appeal, Verso claims that the assessments on its subject property and the decision are manifestly wrong, result in unjust discrimination and result in unequal apportionment of the tax burden in violation of state constitution for reasons, among others, that the property is substantially overvalued and is assessed at a higher percentage of just value than other property in the town.

Verso also claims that the decision is unlawful and contrary to the Maine Property Tax Law by effectively altering the tax commitment and the tax rate for one taxpayer, long after the appropriate time for doing so expired.

Verso is asking the Board of Assessment Review to grant an abatement to the company in accordance with the correct value of the taxable property and the tax rate in effect for the April 1, 2013, property of tax year of $14 per $1,000 of property value, together with interest at the statutory rate and grant such other relief as the board deems just and proper.

Jay Town Manager Shiloh LaFreniere was reviewing the town’s Board of Assessment Review Ordinance and trying to determine when to set up a meeting.

Serving on the town board are Delance White, Terry Bergeron, Michael Houlihan, Beth Wright and Abby DiPasquale with alternates William “Bill” Harlow and Ronald Guay.

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