In a case of interest to all municipalities, Maine’s Supreme Judicial Court last week upheld the City of Old Town’s 2014 and 2015 property tax assessments of paper mill property. MMA Legal Services participated in the appeal as an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) in support of Old Town. The mill’s owner had appealed the city assessor’s property tax valuations, arguing that the price it paid for the mill at a bankruptcy sale after the statutory April 1 valuation date should determine the mill’s just value for property tax purposes. Had the court ruled against the city, the discretion of local assessors to value distressed commercial and industrial properties could have been significantly limited, with detrimental fiscal impacts on municipalities and other taxpayers.
The decision, City of Old Town v. Expera Old Town, LLC, 2021 ME 23, is linked here: https://www.courts.maine.gov/courts/sjc/lawcourt/2021/21me023.pdf
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