SKOWHEGAN — Skowhegan residents will see another drop in their tax rate this year as Sappi’s $200 million investment in the Somerset mill is “being fully recognized,” according to Town Manager Christine Almand.

The town’s tax rate dropped to 12.6% because the majority of improvements made at the Sappi mill are eligible for the state’s Business Equipment Tax Exemption program which entitles the town to receive a reimbursement from the state of $1.2 million for the lost property taxes this year. Almand said residents should expect the reimbursement to decrease over time due to depreciation.

The new tax rate is $15.90 per $1,000, Almand said. A home valued at $150,000 will have a tax bill of $2,385, down $345 from 2018 when the rate was $18.20 for every $1,000 in property valuation and a comparably valued house was taxed $2,730. In 2017 the tax rate was $20 and the tax bill $3,000.

Christine Almand Morning Sentinel file photo

Sappi’s $200 million investment in the Somerset mill is “being fully recognized this year,” Almand said on Monday. The mill, a publicly traded company that finished its new paper machine construction last September, employs about 800 people and has an expected annual production capacity of nearly 1 million tons per year, with paper-based packaging added to its traditional output of coated paper. The $200 million investment allows the mill to compete globally in the paperboard market, making luxury packaging and folding cartons for food products and can and jar labels. Products include pet food bags, tapes, filters, paper medical products, even popcorn bags and take-out boxes for Popeye’s Chicken and Biscuit franchises.

Almand added that taxpayers are invited to join the town’s tax club, which allows members to pay their tax payments in eight payments instead of two. Those interested can enroll no later than Oct. 7 and membership is limited to a taxpayer’s primary residence. Enrollment forms are available in the Clerk’s Office.


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