Drop in value of Madison mill likely to increase taxes

The value of a Madison paper mill will drop nearly $150 million in the coming year, likely resulting in a 30 percent tax rate increase for a tiny town.

The Morning Sentinel reports the mill makes up about 40 percent of Madison’s property tax base. It was assessed at $229.7 million in 2013 and will now be valued at $80 million.

The drop in value leaves town officials searching for ways to raise money without putting the burden on homeowners. The town and school budgets are already set. The 4,800-resident town is in Somerset County, the fourth-poorest of 16 in the state.

A representative of the board of assessors says the drop in value is tied to a decline in the demand for paper across North America.

Number of advertised jobs highest since February 2001

Employers posted 4.67 million jobs in June, up 2.1 percent from May’s total of 4.58 million, the Labor Department reported Tuesday. The number of advertised openings was the highest since February 2001, a positive sign that points to a strengthening economy.

Known as the Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey, the report provides a detailed look at where employment might be heading. It records job postings, overall hiring and the number of workers who either quit or were laid-off. By contrast, the monthly employment report shows the net total of job gains or losses.

Major Detroit creditor calls plan to wipe out debt unfair

A major Detroit creditor on Tuesday objected to the bankrupt city’s plan to wipe out or reduce billions of dollars in debt, saying it should be scrapped before a trial scheduled to start next week.

New York-based Syncora Guarantee said in a court filing that the plan is unfair, will be too costly to defend, and will ultimately fail.

The largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history is set for trial on Aug. 21.

Expectations for huge corn harvest revised upward

Farmers will produce a record-breaking corn harvest this year, surpassing earlier expectations of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which on Tuesday revised upward its estimate of this year’s corn crop to 14 billion bushels to exceed last year’s 13.9 billion bushel record.

A bigger crop was expected as adequate rain and cool temperatures made for favorable growing conditions in the 18 states that produce 91 percent of the nation’s corn.

The abundant harvest has driven prices lower, prompting farmers to take more control of their grain marketing by building more on-farm storage, holding onto the crop and timing the sale to maximize profit.

– From news service reports