Chevron has lost its Richmond refinery property tax appeal in the worst way possible: It not only won’t receive a $73 million refund but it has to pay an additional estimated $27 million.
Contra Costa County, cities and special districts heaved a big sigh of relief at Monday morning’s Assessment Appeals Board decision, which could have forced public agencies to repay Chevron as much as $73 million of the $129 million the company had already paid for tax years 2007-2009.
“There were a lot of people conjecturing that this wasn’t going to be a question of winning or losing but how badly we were going to lose,” said Richmond Councilman Tom Butt, whose city receives 60 percent of the property tax proceeds the refinery pays. “It was a pleasant surprise to hear that we not only beat back the appeal but we may have more money coming to us.”
In the uncharacteristically detailed and strongly worded 24-page opinion, the three-member appeals board rejected the disparate taxable values Contra Costa County Assessor Gus Kramer and Chevron had vigorously defended.
Kramer is legally entitled to set property values, but he and his staff failed to produce supporting evidence behind the numbers they entered for the refinery, the panel wrote.
Chevron’s values were based on “greatly exaggerated” calculations in some areas and outright unbelievable in others, the document also stated. Click here to read the rest of the story.