JAY — Jay selectpersons voted Monday to deny a tax abatement to Verso Androscoggin LLC for the April 1, 2014, tax year. The company had requested a reduction of at least $193.78 million in valuation for its mill and associated property.

Verso’s abatement application states the mill and properties should be valued no higher than $400 million.

Selectpersons, who are also assessors, voted on Jan. 6 to grant Verso an abatement of $829,258 and reduced the value of the mill and properties from $815.4 million to $591.9 million, factoring in tax exemptions, for 2013.

The board had used the lower valuation to base the company’s 2014 tax assessment on when taxes were committed last year.

Selectpersons signed a letter Monday to be sent to the mill manager stating that the tax abatement application cites a lower valuation although it was not supported by any data.

“As a result of our review, we have denied the tax abatement request because Verso Androscoggin LLC failed to meet their burden of proof,” the letter states.

If Verso is dissatisfied with the assessors’s decision, it has 60 days from the date the company receives the notice to appeal it.

Verso claimed in its abatement application that the assessments are “manifestly wrong” and the property is substantially overvalued.

It also says, “in computing the assessments, the assessor discriminated against certain classes of property, by, for example, disproportionately and arbitrarily reducing the value of property located within tax-increment financing districts to benefit the town and inflate the taxes allegedly due from Verso.”

It is the second tax abatement application Verso has filed with the town. It filed one for the 2013 tax year in February 2014.

The town’s Board of Assessment Reviews denied Verso’s appeal of the tax abatement request for the 2013 tax year on April 1. It also denied the discrimination claim as to the amount of the actual taxes to be abated, according to the board’s order.

The Verso paper mill is capable of producing over 700,000 tons of paper and pulp a year and is on approximately 580 acres, according to the Board of Assessment Review’s decision.

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