JAY — Verso Androscoggin filed an appeal of the town’s denial of the company’s tax-abatement request of at least $193.79 million in valuation for the 2014 property tax year for its mill and associated property.

The town’s assessed value of the property for the April 1, 2014, tax year was about $593.78 million. It consists of an assessed value of $179.1 million of real property and about $414.6 million of personal property.

Jay assessing agent Paul Binette said Tuesday that the mill has $74.7 million in tax-exempt property.

Verso claims the mill and property are substantially over-assessed and should be assessed at no more than $400 million for that year.

Selectpersons in their role of assessors on April 13 denied Verso’s tax-abatement request for 2014. Assessors stated in a letter to mill representatives that they denied the request because Verso Androscoggin failed to meet its burden of proof.

The matter now moves to the town’s Board of Assessment Review. It will meet at 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 27, at the Town Office to determine whether the appeal application, dated May 18, is acceptable for processing and scheduling.


Verso had filed a tax-abatement application last year for the April 1, 2013, tax year, which remains unresolved.

Jay and Verso had separate appraisals done on the mill.

The Board of Assessors on Jan. 6 reduced the valuation of Verso’s property from $815.4 million to $591.9 million for the 2013 tax year and granted an $829,258 tax abatement.

Verso claimed the property remained overvalued and filed an appeal with the town’s Board of Assessment Review. That board denied the appeal April 1.

Verso maintains the mill and property should have been valued at $460 million for 2013.

Town assessors stood behind their appraisal of the mill, which they said was fair and accurate.


Verso plans to file an appeal of that decision this week with the Maine State Board of Property Tax Review, the company’s attorney, Jonathan Block, said Tuesday.

In Block’s letter of appeal of the assessors’ denial of the 2014 tax-abatement request, he wrote that the total value of the property has declined substantially since the $460 million value determined by Duff & Phelps of Chicago for 2013. Duff & Phelps are valuation and corporate finance advisers that Verso hired to do an appraisal of the mill.

After a review of relevant transactions and other information, the value of the mill has declined since April 1, 2013, to a value that is no more than $400 million, Block wrote.

The company claims that the assessments on the property are manifestly wrong, result in unjust discrimination and result in unequal apportionment of the tax burden in violation of the Maine Constitution, Block wrote.

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