JAY — Verso Androscoggin has taken its fight over the valuation of its local mill and associated property to the state for the second time.

The company is appealing the town’s denial of a valuation abatement for the 2014 tax year to the Maine State Board of Property Tax Review. The company has an appeal pending with the state board for the 2013 tax year.

Verso is requesting a hearing on its appeal of the April 1, 2014, tax year to the state board and asks that the amount determined to be excessive be abated and further relief granted as deemed proper.

The town of Jay assessed the company at $8.47 million for the 2014 tax year.

Verso Androscoggin is appealing the Jay Board of Assessment Review’s denial of the company’s appeal of the Jay Board of Assessors’ “refusal to provide an adequate tax abatement for the year April 1, 2014,” according to the company’s petition to the state.

Verso Androscoggin owns a paper mill and related industrial facilities on about 580 acres at 300 Riley Road in Jay, including all real and personal property at that site.

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The town’s total assessed valuation of Verso’s property was $593.78 million for 2014.

On Feb. 12, Verso filed an abatement application with Jay assessors seeking to reduce the value to at most $400 million for the 2014 tax year.

On April 14, the Jay Board of Assessors denied the company’s application.

Verso appealed that decision to the town’s Board of Assessment Review on May 18. That board denied the appeal on July 7, saying the company’s request was not supported by data.

Verso objected to the denial on the grounds that the property is overvalued and that the town has discriminated against Verso Androscoggin and its property.

The company claims that the assessments and denial are “manifestly wrong, result in unjust discrimination and result in unequal apportionment of the tax burden” in violation of the Maine 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 Jay.

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Verso also claims that the town assessors did not use proper valuation techniques to value the property. Among other things, the assessors did not properly perform the income approach to valuation, and did not properly perform the cost approach to valuation. The applicable valuation approaches do not support the assessment, according to the appeal.

It also claims the assessor failed to consider all relevant factors to determine just value as required under state law.

In the 2013 tax year case, the town’s original $815.4 million valuation was reduced to $591.9 in January and the company was granted a tax abatement of $829,258. The company filed a tax abatement application last year for 2013 to have the valuation of the mill and property reduced to $460 million. The town’s Board of Assessment Review denied Verso’s appeal of the assessors’ decision on April 1. The review board claimed Verso did not provide sufficient evidence for the board to revise the assessed value of the mill property.

The company had paid $9 million in taxes after exemptions for 2013, and after the abatement the taxes were $8.18 million. The case is expected to be heard at the state level late this fall or early winter.

“We will continue to work through the process,” Jay Town Manager Shiloh LaFreniere said.

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