The Old Town mill’s new owner has wasted little time in requesting an abatement of its taxes, claiming the mill is worth just 15 percent of its assessed value.
Expera, a Wisconsin-based company that bought the mill via bankruptcy proceedings in early December, filed an application for an abatement of its taxes recently, according to documents on file at city hall. The application is a blanket request, covering all real and personal property at the mill, which is operating as Expera Old Town LLC.
Currently, the city assesses real estate at the mill at roughly $24 million. Expera, however, contends the property is worth no more than $2.19 million. Additionally, real property at the mill is assessed at roughly $27.38 million; Expera says that personal property should be valued at no more $5.11 million.
In total, the city assesses the mill at $51.38 million. Expera’s total claimed value: $7.3 million – the price paid for the mill in the bankruptcy proceeding.
In its application, Expera said the court proceedings relating to the sale showed that the price paid was a fair value for the mill. Expera further contents that the city did not use proper techniques in its valuation of the mill; that all relevant factors were not examined; that the assessments included several turbines and otherproperty not now owned at the mill; and that the property is assessed at a higher percentage of just value than other property in Old Town.
City officials said the application currently is under review by legal counsel, and a response will come in the near future.
While the amount being sought for a decrease by Expera may be surprising, the fact that it is requesting an abatement is not, in lieu of similar actions it has taken in the recent past. Last year, Expera asked the Wisconsin Department of Revenue to have two mills there reassessed; the valuations on those two mills fell a combined $16 million after the state completed its review.


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