Great Northern Paper in Maine facing tax liens, including recent IRS filing for nearly US$2.5M allegedly owed for 2012 corporate income taxes, in addition to prior liens that include almost US$3M for late property taxes; company says it will pay debts

MILLINOCKET, Maine , April 13, 2014 () – A Maine paper mill that stopped production and laid off more than 200 workers in February is facing numerous liens over unpaid bills.

The Portland Press Herald reports (http://bit.ly/1nl0viz) that the IRS last week filed two liens against subsidiaries of Great Northern Paper alleging that the mill operators failed to pay nearly $2.5 million in corporate income taxes in 2012. Other vendors also have filed liens against the company, and the towns of Millinocket and East Millinocket are owed nearly $3 million for late property taxes.

"The company has every intention to work hard to bring the creditors current, including the town of Millinocket and the IRS," said Elizabeth Baldacci, spokeswoman for Cate Street Capital, the private-equity firm that invested in the mill.

She said the company blames an ongoing dispute with a hydroelectric dam operator for falling behind on its bills. Great Northern wants Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners to pay it the profits it has made on selling excess power since the mill was idled in January.

Last week, Gov. Paul LePage signed a bill encouraging Brookfield and Great Northern Paper to share the energy profits. An earlier version of the bill would have required Brookfield to share the profits, a move Brookfield's attorney said would have amounted to a state subsidy to Great Northern.

Information from: Portland Press Herald, http://www.pressherald.com

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