FARMINGTON — An owner of Dummer’s Beach Campground in Weld withdrew her property tax abatement appeal Tuesday during a hearing before the Franklin County commissioners.

The decision followed a lengthy discussion.

In the end, Carolina Gail Shreve, president of Gordon Dummer Camps Inc., which owns the campground, agreed to pay the remaining $1,200 not paid by campers who own trailers and associated property left at the campground during the off-season. The campground does not charge them to leave property. She also committed to provide names, mailing addresses and sites the property is on by April 1.

That will allow Weld to send tax bills to the rightful owners when taxes are committed this summer.

The campground is on Webb Lake.

Weld denied her request to abate $6,754.70 of her 2014 personal property taxes, so Shreve appealed to the county commission.


The crux of the appeal was over the campground being taxed on property it did not own. Up until 2014, each camper owner was mailed an individual tax bill, Shreve said. The town had a 2013 list of owners and could have updated it, she said.

“We have always paid our taxes (real estate, personal, payroll, corporate and personal income taxes) on time and are in good standing,” Shreve said. “We have never disputed any portion of our tax bills and are not trying to get out of a tax bill.”

There are 144 campers who pay taxes on property left on the site during September through May when the campground is closed, she said. Eight of the 144 who were there in 2013 were not there in 2014, Shreve said. There is never more than 10 who switch.

She also stressed that she had cooperated with the town.

Shreve said many of the owners went to the Town Office to pay for their share of taxes but the receipt they received was in the campground’s name. They were unable to claim it on their taxes, she said.

Since the town had billed Dummer’s Beach Campground, the receipts would be in that entity’s name, Selectman Wayne DuBois said.


Town assessing agents said since the town did not receive an updated list of the owners of those campers and they didn’t know who left the property there as of April 1, 2014, they used a rule that allows a town to tax the owner of the land underneath property left on the site. Selectmen said they didn’t know who owned the campers, equipment and other property at the site because new owners move in each year and others don’t return.

Under questioning by Shreve, assessing agent Mike O’Donnell of John E. O’Donnell & Associates in New Gloucester said Dummer’s Beach Campground was the only campground in towns where they do assessing that did not submit a list of property left at the camp site that did not belong to campground owners.

He reiterated that assessing agents do not know who owns each of the campers and property and it would be difficult and a lot of work to figure out who does.

“We are a contract service provider. We are limited in our ability to determine who owns the property,” he said.

All they ask is that list gets edited or updated each year and submitted by April 1, he said.

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