The Bangor assessment review board has denied another appeal from the Bangor Mall to lower its city property tax bill, setting the city up for another fight with one of its largest commercial taxpayers.
Namdar Realty LLC, the firm that owns the Bangor Mall, has argued three times that the city has inflated the Stillwater Avenue property’s worth, and appealed its tax valuations for fiscal years 2019, 2020 and 2021.
The assessing board voted last week to deny Namdar’s latest appeal of its 2021 assessment, and approved that decision at a Thursday night meeting.
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Namdar has appealed two of those denials, for fiscal years 2019 and 2020, to the state Board of Property Tax Review.
A lower tax assessment would carry a lower tax burden for the partially condemned mall, which is the city’s seventh-largest taxpayer.
Namdar’s appeals of 2019 and 2020 tax bills are pending before the state tax appeal agency, which would determine whether the city has to reimburse the realty company $700,000 in past paid property taxes.
That agency has been dogged by vacancies that have stymied its ability to hear cases, leading to a backlog.
The mall was assessed last year at $15 million, according to city records. It was previously assessed at $20 million in 2020 and $33 million in 2019.
The city assessor’s office has lowered its valuation of the property over the past few years to account for vacancies and shrinking revenue. But Namdar has said every year that the mall shouldn’t be worth any more than the $12.6 million it paid when it bought the mall at an auction in 2019.
“Despite the fact that the value has now come down, the property is still overvalued, and is being assessed incorrectly,” an attorney for the Bangor Mall, Geoff Byrne, told the assessing review board last week.
Namdar asked the city to value it at $10 million, or two-thirds of its current value, a figure that isn’t supported by an appraisal, Mark Bower, an attorney defending Bangor against Namdar’s appeal, said at last week’s meeting.
“They’re asking for a discount based on no evidence,” Bower said.
Namdar declined to comment through a spokesperson.
A $15 million valuation carries a $334,500 tax burden, while a $10 million valuation would obligate Namdar to pay $223,000.
Parts of the mall are condemned, but it still has anchor stores like JCPenney and Dick’s Sporting Goods, city assessor Phil Drew said at last week’s meeting.
The board voted unanimously to deny Namdar’s appeal, and reaffirmed that decision in Thursday’s meeting.