JAY — The state has lowered the town’s property valuation by $93.6 million because of Pixelle Specialty Solutions’ downsizing and eventual closure of the Androscoggin Mill in March 2023.

Town Manager Shiloh LaFreniere of Jay. Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal file photo

The town’s property valuation has dropped from $489.5 million to $395.9 million.

Town officials applied to the state’s Adjustment for Sudden and Severe Disruption of Valuation program in summer 2023.

It is the fifth time it has applied for relief and been granted it.

Town Manager Shiloh LaFreniere received a copy of a letter dated Feb. 1 from Stephen M. Sullivan, deputy director of State Valuation & Municipal Services Property Tax Division, on Tuesday that the Maine Revenue Services sent to Department of Education Commissioner Pender Makin.

The letter stated, “Based on our review, the town has satisfactorily demonstrated in accordance of 36 M.R.S. § 208-A(2) that it has experienced a net reduction in the equalized municipal valuation of at least 2% attributable to the cessation of business operations and liquidation of all paper making operations at the Pixelle Specialty Solutions Facility. As a result the town request for an adjustment to its equalized valuation has been granted.”


LaFreniere wrote in an email, “We are very pleased that our town, in conjunction with Maine Revenue Services, has once again successfully worked through the state’s complex sudden and severe valuation loss program.”

She continued, “Recognition of the loss by Maine Revenue Services will provide for additional state revenue-sharing and state education funding which will help reduce some of the burden on our residents. This is a very important and impactful program for our community as we continue to feel the loss from the closure of the Androscoggin Mill.”

LaFreniere said Tuesday that she checked the Maine revenue-sharing page and found that the town is projected to receive over $2 million in state revenue-sharing, which is nearly $1 million more than last year.

She included last year’s revenue-sharing number in her proposed $6.1 million budget for 2024-25 calculations, which she said at the time was very conservative.

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