Resolute Forest Products appeals for tax reassessment of its Fort Frances, Ontario, mill, after indefinitely idling its kraft pulp mill, PM No. 5 in November; successful appeal would lower tax assessment to C$15.01M from C$28.26M

Debra Garcia

Debra Garcia

LOS ANGELES , January 4, 2013 () – Resolute Forest Product Inc. has appealed for a tax reassessment of its Fort Frances, Ontario, mill in 2013 after indefinitely idling its kraft pulp mill and PM No. 5 in November, though it is still running the remaining paper machine, the Fort Frances Times reported.

A hearing could occur this spring before Ontario’s Assessment Review Board. If the appeal is completely successful, the mill’s tax could be lowered to C$15.01 million from $28.26 million, which would then prompt the town of Fort Frances to refund just over $3 million, the Fort Frances Times reported Jan. 2.

A 50% successful appeal would lower that refund to $1.525 million and a 25% successful appeal would lower it further to $762,720, Fort Frances Times reported.

Whether the mill’s tax appeal will be successful and whether negotiations with the company will occur could be clearer in the spring during the provincial hearing.

The possible decrease in the Fort Frances mill’s tax revenues has prompted concern among district municipal officials, who estimate payment hikes for smaller townships.

Resolute Forest Products President Richard Garneau did not expect to close the mill and said that its remaining paper machine, PM No. 7, could make the site profitable, Fort Frances Times reported Dec. 4.

However, the kraft mill’s indefinite idling and the shuttering of PM No. 5 resulted in 239 layoffs in November—a loss whose impact is not yet completely known to the region, according to local leaders.

Many municipal leaders are looking toward the area’s mining industry for a bright spot in 2013, Fort Frances Times reported.

The primary source of this article is the Fort Frances Times, Fort Frances, Ontario, on Jan. 2, 2013.

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