THOMASTON — The state gave Thomaston an early Christmas present by denying an appeal by Walmart for a massive reduction in the valuation of its supercenter.

The Maine Board of Property Tax Review rejected the appeal that would have cost the town $164,000 annually if successful, Thomaston attorney Paul Gibbons said Friday, Dec. 16.

Walmart is the town’s second largest taxpayer, behind Dragon Products. The Thomaston Walmart store opened in October 2013 after relocating from Rockland.

The appeal put before the state board was for the tax years 2017 and 2018. If successful, the corporation would have sought abatements for the successive years.

The town had assessed Walmart at $15.9 million in 2017 and $15.4 million in 2018. Thomaston’s appraiser Stephen Traub appraised the property for $18,000,000 for both of these tax years.

Walmart, through its appraiser Gregory Curtis of Newmark Knight Frank of Boston, appraised the Thomaston Walmart property for both of those tax years in the amount of $7.4 million.

After several days of hearings, the State Board of Property Tax Review voted Thursday, Dec. 15 to deny the appeal.

Gibbons said Walmart’s case was flawed in that the corporation was arguing that rather than valuing the property in its current condition and use, the property should be valued as if it was vacant and obsolete.

“In other words, Walmart argues that its valuation should be based on hypothetical circumstances rather than those actually in existence,” Gibbons said to the state board.

Gibbons said if Walmart was successful, other taxpayers would have borne the burden by picking up the money that Walmart was not paying.

Walmart can appeal the decision to court.

Walmart has sought abatements across the state and country for at least the past 20 years with mixed results.

Good Jobs First, a national group, has criticized the giant retailer for shortchanging local communities and their taxpayers.

“Once a store has been in operation for a while, Wal-Mart frequently challenges the assessed value that local officials assign to it for tax purposes,” Good Jobs First wrote in a 2007 report. “In an effort to cut the property tax it pays to local governments — revenue that pays for public education, police and fire protection and other vital services — Wal-Mart routinely tries to belittle the value of its own facilities.”