Mill appeal to take some time

Duane Hicks

While the possible reassessment of the mill property here will play a role in this year’s town budget, it will be quite a while before council and administration find out what the impact may be.
Town treasurer Laurie Witherspoon said yesterday the Assessment Review Board has scheduled a teleconference for Aug. 15, at which time she expects the parties “to find out where everyone is at and set timelines for a hearing later on.”
She noted the actual hearing, whenever and wherever it may be held, will be an actual sitting with members present, as opposed to a teleconference.
As previously reported, AbitibiBowater (AbiBow) Canada Inc., now Resolute Forest Products, currently has an appeal before the Municipal Property Assessment Corp.’s Assessment Review Board for its mill property in Fort Frances.
The appeal covers the years 2009, 2010, and 2011, with the company looking to have the assessment lowered from $28,260,000 to no more than $15,010,000.
If the mill appeal is 100 percent successful, the town would be looking at giving the company a refund of a little over $3 million ($2.2 million for 2009-11, plus $800,000 in 2012).
As well, in subsequent years, the town would see tax revenues reduced by roughly $800,000 on an annual basis.