MADISON — The board of assessors is expected to update selectmen on tax assessment rates Monday night – and discuss a request by Madison Paper Industries for a lower assessment for its Madison mill.

A “significant and substantial decrease in valuation” for the mill is expected, according to Al Veneziano, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, and that could mean a change in the property tax rate.

The mill, which is currently assessed at $229.7 million and makes up about 40 percent of the town’s property tax base, is among several across the state for which owners are seeking a break in property tax assessments for the upcoming year. Anticipation of the need to lower the assessments has affected town operations and decisions in recent months.

In June, the selectmen approved putting a hold on discretionary spending until after the mill assessment rate was known and later that month delayed a decision to buy a new police cruiser, citing the potential for a shift in the tax burden if the mill’s assessment should go down.

Veneziano said selectmen have not discussed in depth the effect of the tax assessment and whether it will affect services or the tax rate. The current rate is $17.53 per $1,000 of assessed value.

“Services are pretty minimal to start with, so I don’t know how much we could cut them back. We’re waiting to see how much the increase to the tax rate will be to take further action,” he said.

The mill has been talking with the board of assessors but has not yet received its tax bill, said Russ Drechsel, president of Madison Paper Industries.

Along with Madison, the paper mill towns of East Millinocket, Jay and Skowhegan also are facing requests for revaluation of their local mills.

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