TAX - MAINE

City of Old Town v. Expera Old Town, LLC

Supreme Judicial Court of Maine - April 20, 2021 - A.3d - 2021 WL 1538226 - 2021 ME 23

Owner of wood pulp and paper mill appealed decision of the State Board of Property Tax Review which denied tax abatement requests for the mill.

The Superior Court vacated and remanded. On remand, the Board granted the tax abatement requests. City appealed, and the Superior Court affirmed. City appealed.

The Supreme Judicial Court held that evidence supported determinations that prior bankruptcy and liquidation sales of wood pulp and paper mill were not accurate representations of fair market value.

Evidence supported State Board of Property Tax Review determinations that prior bankruptcy and liquidation sales of wood pulp and paper mill were not accurate representations of fair market value for property tax assessment purposes, even if they were arms-length transactions; at time of bankruptcy sale, mill’s owner was facing an involuntary creditors’ petition in the bankruptcy court, mill was no longer operating, the sale occurred after a truncated marketing period, the seller performed only a very limited due diligence, and the sale price ultimately included items not directly related to the fair market value of real and personal property assets, while two years later, mill was sold at liquidation sale with the understanding it would be scrapped.



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