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Judge Pessimistic About Measure T in First Court Test

According to the West County Times, the Court seemed to tilt in favor of Chevronís arguments at a recent court hearing. To read the full briefs from each side, click below:

         Chevron Brief

         City of Richmond Brief

Tentative ruling: Richmond's manufacturers fee unfair to Chevron

By Katherine Tam
Contra Costa Times

Posted: 08/31/2009 04:43:55 PM PDT

Updated: 08/31/2009 10:20:12 PM PDT


Contra Costa Superior Court wants Chevron and the city of Richmond to present additional information as it continues weighing whether the Measure T manufacturers fee is legal.

The next hearing is Oct. 9.

A judge issued a "tentative ruling" Friday questioning the validity of Measure T in connection with the federal commerce clause. The statement from the judge says the ordinance approved by voters in November "gives a clear benefit to a manufacturer that has all of its operations within the city of Richmond over one, like Chevron, who has additional operations outside of the city and may be subject to taxation in such other jurisdictions."

No final ruling has been issued.

Measure T charges manufacturers a quarter-percent of the value of the raw materials they use each year, if it is more than the annual business license fee they now pay. It is to generate about $16 million a year, mostly from Chevron.

Chevron sued the city in February, arguing that the initiative violates state and federal laws. The city disagrees and believes the measure is valid.

Chevron reserved comment on the ruling until it is final.

Reach Katherine Tam at 510-262-2787.