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Business and Economy

Maine Paper Mill Loses Value, Hurting Small Town

MADISON, Maine (AP) _ The value of a Madison, Maine 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 that the Madison Paper Industries 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.