NEWRY — The Sunday River Country Club has had its land value decreased by $1.3 million by the town’s assessor, according to town officials.

Deputy Clerk Kelly Scott said assessing agent Bob Gingras cited the condition of the golf course and limited seasonal use.

“With this decrease, he now has it valued at $2.25 million (the land) and $1.12 million (the building),” Scott said Thursday.

The property was purchased this year by Newry Holdings, although Harris Golf, which owned it under the name Sunday River Golf Club, is contesting the sale, according to published reports.

Newry officials discussed the assessing change and related matters at a meeting last week.

Scott said then that Newry Holdings had requested a tax abatement on the property but was denied by Gingras. He did, however, lower the assessment for future taxation.

“They’ve been good neighbors,” Scott said of the new owners. “They paid three years’ worth of (back) taxes.” 

She said $40,402 in personal property taxes are owed by the golf course, going back to 2010.

Town Administrator Amy Bernard said personal property cannot be put under a lien as real estate can, so those taxes can be more difficult to collect. She used the example of trying to collect taxes on a tractor.

She said a new owner is responsible for back personal property taxes, and Newry will likely try to settle for a significant part of them.

Newry Holdings does not have as much personal property at the golf course as Harris Golf did, Scott said.

Scott also reported that a decade ago, owners of house lots on the golf course were all issued abatements. The values were decreased by 30 percent in 2006, she said.

“The lots that were selling in 2005 were selling for less than what we had them assessed at, so I am sure that is what prompted the decrease in 2006,” Scott said Thursday.

Because of several distressed sales on the lots over the past few years and several abatement requests, she said, Gingras reduced the assessments this year again by roughly 30 percent.

Despite the drops in assessments, Scott said, the town had gained valuation overall because of new construction.

The total valuation increase this year was $8.07 million and the valuation decrease was $5.15 million, which gave the town a net increase of $2.92 million, she said.


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