Chevron loses tax appeal 27 million ways

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.

For the full text of the appeal, click here for supplemental decision and here for main ruling.


Lisa Vorderbrueggen

  • Now the question is, when will the county return all the funds it has withheld over the past couple years in case this went the other way?

  • Truthclubber

    “…the three-member appeals board rejected the…taxable values Contra Costa County Assessor Gus Kramer…had vigorously defended….”

    Recall Gus Kramer NOW!

  • ted ford

    actually, Gus can take credit for a big win. If it went the other way, he’d be getting his share of the blame. He deserves to enjoy it today.

  • John W.

    It turned out well for the city and county, which is good news. But the report’s comments about the quality of the Assessor’s work are damning.

  • Truthclubber

    Ted Ford is clearly and merely a tool in Gus Kramer’s belt — recall Kramer NOW!

    “…In the uncharacteristically detailed and strongly worded 24-page opinion, the three-member appeals board rejected the…taxable values Contra Costa County Assessor Gus Kramer…had vigorously defended….”

  • John W.

    Re #4

    That’s a bit of character assassination that is completely outrageous and inaccurate.

  • Elwood


    Stay out of the cooking sherry!

  • BGR

    Steve makes a good point. The county and cities like Richmond might have reserved funds in case, but most likely the reserve money has been spent six ways to Sunday, to say nothing of this windfall given local governments’ unwillingness to balance budgets.

  • Elwood

    Memo to cities and county:

    Don’t cash the Chevron check yet.

  • Truthclubber

    Whole lotta Chevron lovers on dis blog, all I gotta say, from the general tenor of the commentary.

    Must be all dem San Ramon whitey-white collar types working down on Bollinger Canyon…

    Recall Gus Kramer NOW!

  • John W.

    Re #10

    “Whole lotta Chevron lovers…”


    I see comments noting the good news for city and county, or asking about reserve funds, or urging prudence pending the outcome of any appeals. I’m still looking for one that might be construed as coming from a Chevron lover.

    That said, I wonder what the assessed value of the property would be without the refinery.

  • John W.

    Is the 24-page report available online?

  • Truthclubber

    @12: Is the 24 page report available online?

    Yo, dumba$$ and Chevron kisser-upper, duh, er, yah. I copied that link from the article (above) that you CLEARLY did NOT read.

    Nice try, Chevron-apologist — F-A-I-L.

    Recall Gus Kramer NOW!

  • Truthclubber

    @12 —

    The powers that be at the Cocounts Times are not allowing that earlier link to be displayed in a browser-friendly manner (payola, perhaps?) but here it is:


  • Truthclubber

    Sorry — in my haste, I typed “Cocounts” in @14 above when I meant to say “Coconuts” — my bad in trying to vent my frustration with what is increasingly a fascist communications tool…

    Recall Gus Kramer NOW!

  • John W.

    Re #13

    Thanks for pointing out the link, Truthclubber. Yes, I overlooked it. My bad! Your civility overwhelms me.

  • Truthclubber

    @16 —

    Just trying to point out that you often shoot your mouth off before you actually read the facts — in this case, the damning case against Gus “Never net a corporate tax assessment I couldn’t be bought off to reduce” Kramer that showed he was deliberately trying to give Chevron a much lower assessment than this “thank God THEY had balls” three person panel was going to swallow.

    Your complicity (in looking the other way in this corporate theft) underwhelms me.

  • BGR

    I posted both docs at Halfway or you can grab them at scrid

  • John W.

    Re 17

    I read up to the “rest of the story” link and concluded (a) that this was obvious good news for the city and county; and (b) Gus’s work on this left much to be desired (based on the statement in the story and in the today’s newspaper that he and his staff did not produce supporting evidence for their numbers). So, by what inferential reasoning do you deduce that somebody who pretty much shares your opinion of Gus’s work on this matter is a Chevron apologist and is complicit in whatever it is you said? Clearly, my only mistake has been to indulge in dialogue with you on this or any other issue. Henceforth, I won’t be making that mistake again, ever. I’ll leave that chore to Elwood!

  • Lisa Vorderbrueggen

    Thanks for including that link … I’ve been having some grief with Docstoc stuff but it’s what the Times uses, so I’m stuck with it. Lisa v.

  • RR, Senile Columnist

    I love Chevron. It makes my car run well. So there, enemies of Big Business.

  • Elwood

    My correspondence with toothsucker is pretty much confined to pointing out that he/she/it is a loony and admonishing he/she/it to stay out of the cooking sherry.

  • John W.

    Re #21

    Chevron should be able to cover the extra property tax with the money I spend at the Extra Mile store.