EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

July 17, 2013

N.H. Supreme Court rules against Plaistow

Beede Group doesn't owe $1.5M in taxes

PLAISTOW — The town’s appeal over $1.5 million in taxes owed on the Beede Superfund property was denied by the New Hampshire Supreme Court.

The town had argued the Beede Group was responsible for the unpaid taxes, accumulating since 1990. The group includes unaffiliated companies deemed responsible for cleaning up the thousands of gallons of contaminants which polluted the site.

“We’re gratified that the court came to the decision that it did,” said Greg Howard, spokesman for the Beede Group. “Hopefully, this puts this matter to rest.”

Selectman Daniel Poliquin felt differently.

“It boggles my mind,” Poliquin said. “I find it very hard to believe that they could rule that way.”

The town appealed to the Supreme Court in April after the New Hampshire Board of Land and Tax Appeals ruled the Beede Property was improperly assessed.

The town had assessed the 39-acre property at $763,340 when the group took over the site in 2009, but the Beede Group had assessed the property at zero. After taking into account the $50 million needed to clean up the site, the board sided with Beede and assessed the property at $200.

“I just don’t understand how all those acres can be valued at $200,” Poliquin said. “This isn’t going to be the end of this. We will have to talk to our attorney and see what the options are.”

The town’s attorney, Sumner Kalman, did not respond to a request for comment.

The court ruled unanimously Thursday. The town has 10 days to file a motion for the court to reconsider.

Selectmen’s Chairman Bob Gray said did not expect the town to go that route.

“I don’t know what that will do at this point,” he said. “The only way is to perhaps introduce legislation to change the law.”

Poliquin said he was frustrated with the impact the decision will have on the taxpayers.

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