Tax dispute in Wiscasset could raise property taxes $500 per year on average

On the Midcoast, the tax dispute of worth million happened with a revaluation and tax exemption at the core of it all.

All this incident happened, when Maine DEP granted Maine Yankee a tax exemption for reducing air pollution and then Maine Yankee and Wiscasset failed to reach a new property tax agreement. Now a local lawmaker is trying to remove that exemption. The bill’s sponsor also mentioned that this tax exemption only hurts local taxpayers.

This will not harm Maine Yankee or the environment, but it would substantially harm the town of Wiscasset. Maine Yankee stores nuclear waste from its nuclear power plant that last made power in 1996.

The town says Maine Yankee is paying half what they owe but are contesting the rest.

A lobbyist representing the facility told the taxation committee, “Maine Yankee expects to pay a reasonable amount in property taxes, but we expect to be assessed fairly.”

The federal government actually reimburses Maine Yankee for the cost to maintain the storage facility, but Maine Yankee says those reimbursements are not guaranteed. As part of that reimbursement, the feds also pay Maine Yankee’s property taxes.

Instead, Wiscasset homeowners are now paying 9 percent more in property taxes, about $500 a year on average, to make up for what Maine Yankee is not paying.

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