The Hollywood Casino, located in Bangor, Maine, has been fighting for some time against the state due to property taxes. The casino believes the city has overvalued their properties and leases by a large number, over $61 million in fact, which is over half the assessed value of the venue. To try and fight the property tax, the casino filed an appeal with the Maine Street Board of Property Tax Review, stating their argument.
Should the casino be able to win the case, the city would have to refund property taxes in the amount of $1.35 million, which is a portion of $2.14 million that were already paid by the Hollywood Casino for 2014. This would leave a big hole in the city budget.
It was back in January that the casino first filed an abatement request in Bangor, alleging the city had overvalued the properties along Main Street and leases by as much as $36.8 million. This would have seen the city paying back $800,000+. The Bangor Board of Assessment Review and the City Assessor have denied the abatement request, both coming to the same conclusion.
The tax dispute began after the city assessed the properties of the casino at just over $98 million for 2014. This was an increase of 3.6% from 2013. The casino filed documents with the state board that state the real value of the properties plus leases are only worth $36.2 million, which is a 63% decrease of the assessed value by the city.
The state board filing by the casino alleges that Drew, the City Assessor, improperly including the casino’s gaming license value when the property was assessed. The casino claims they are paying an portion of the total tax load of the city, that is unequal and they feel this amount is unfair. Jonathan Block, the casino’s attorney, stated just two months ago that the gaming license shouldn’t be included with the value as it would not be eligible to be transferred if the owner were to sell the property.
Based on state law, it is only the personal or real property can be taxed. Licenses which would fall under the intangible property category are to be excluded from taxation unless they are tied to the property inextricably.
Bangor now has until the 11th of November to file a response towards the filing by the casino to the state review board. On Tuesday, it was reported that the response is still being worked on.