letter to the editor

The tax facts

Posted:  Tuesday, March 12, 2019 - 8:30am

Dear Editor:

The Boothbay Harbor Country Club has been used by many as example of why annual tax revenue of $200,000-300,000 would be possible on a lot the size of Cap’n Fish's. Perhaps they are misinformed because $10,400,000 of the golf course “buildings” assessment has nothing to do with buildings. It is for the road to the fitness center, utilities, golf cart paths and other golf course non-“building” improvements, etc.

The town of Boothbay Assessor's web page provides explicit data on the sizes and valuations of the various parts of the property at 50 Sugar Maple Lane, Boothbay, Maine, the Boothbay Harbor Country Club. There are 7 new buildings on the Country Club property with a total assessment of $18,917,000 generating ~$176,000 of annual taxes.

Assessed Valuation-Tax Amount-Size

Clubhouse: $10,750.000-$99,975-12,000'

6 Other Bldgs: $ 8,167,000-$75,953

Regarding the comparison of the Country Club property to the Cap'n Fish property, there are two important things to note: First, the clubhouse on the Country Club property is assessed at $10,750,000, a fraction of what I believe has been stated publicly as the cost of that building, and generates $99,975 in taxes. Thus no matter what a developer might spend on new construction on the Cap'n Fish site, the assessed value will likely be substantially less, as it is based on things like revenue and marketable value, not on cost. A seasonal business, like a hotel, will generate proportionally less, and will thus be assessed at a lower valuation. Second, given the state restrictions of 75-foot setback, and the 35-foot height restriction above the lowest point, a structure the same size as the Country Club's 12,000 sq. ft. clubhouse would likely not fit on the 37,026 sq. ft. Cap'n Fish property. Thus the claim that putting a hotel or other new structure on the Cap'n Fish property would generate ~$200,000 in annual taxes seems grossly inflated.

Mark Skinner

Boothbay Harbor