Chevron resumes property tax appeal:Company, county disagree on assessment of Richmond refinery

Submitted by admin on Thu, 01/10/2008 - 1:10pm

By Katherine Tam STAFF WRITER

After a five-week hiatus, Chevron resumed its appeal Monday to change how the county calculates its property tax at its Richmond refinery, a bid that could affect millions of dollars that public agencies receive every year.
The hearing before the three-member Contra Costa Assessment Appeals Board began in late November with the county's opening statement and picked up where it left off Monday. It resumes Wednesday and continues for at least six more days this month.

Attorneys representing the refinery are expected to present opening statements Thursday at the earliest.

Chevron and the county assessor disagree on how to assess the refinery's property value, from how much the land is worth to what investors should expect as a reasonable annual return. In 2004, the county assessed the refinery land at $2.5 billion, but Chevron says its assessment should have been $600 million. For 2005, the county's assessment was $2.6 billion compared with Chevron's estimated $940 million. In 2006, the county's figure was $2.7 billion, compared with Chevron's $1.14 billion.

If Chevron wins, it means the company will have overpaid $59.7 million in taxes from 2004 to 2006. Cities, schools, parks and fire districts throughout the county that receive the revenue would be affected in the future.

Reach Katherine Tam at 510-262-2787 or ktam@bayareanewsgroup.com.