SCARBOROUGH—The town of Scarborough has agreed to settle and pay a $125,000 abatement to a collection of companies, including Oak Hill Holdings, the company that owns and manages Oak Hill Plaza, adjacent to Route 1.

The town settled with nine different companies – Oak Hill Holdings, JDR Trust II, Oaks LLC, West Oaks LLC, Meadow Wood Associates, Corner Holdings, Oak Hill Village, Coach Lantern Apartments and Foxcroft Apartments – with the single payment, according to Scarborough Town Manager Tom Hall. The money to pay for the settlement will come from the town’s “overlay” account, which Hall said is established specifically to pay for tax abatements.

According to Hall and a document from the town’s assessment board describing the facts of the case, the abatement concerned a town-wide revaluation. Originally, town officials wanted to conduct a full revaluation, including commercial and residential properties, all at once, but in a 2014 referendum voters rejected that proposal, so officials split it up, choosing to conduct the commercial revaluation first in the spring of 2018. In November that same year, the town conducted the residential revaluation.

Steven Berg, the registered agent for Oak Hill Holdings, the principal party in the abatement, did not respond to multiple requests for an explanation of the complaint. According to Hall, “The Taxpayers claim that the revaluation was unconstitutional because the reappraised commercial and industrial property values were implemented one year earlier than the reappraised residential property values, resulting in unequal taxation.”

In the end, Hall said the settlement was the most prudent course of action, as refusing to settle would have almost certainly led to a potentially lengthy and far more expensive court battle.

“This is about certainty, and removing uncertainty,” he said.

Sean Murphy 780-9094

Email: [email protected]

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