The Contra Costa County Assessment Appeals Board, members listed below,
awarded Chevron a $12.6 million plum, finding that the Richmond Refinery
was overvalued for property tax purpose following a run of all-time
According to the Contra Costa county website, members of the Contra
Costa County Assessment Appeals Board include:
Fisher Joe 09/12/2006 09/03/2009 Vacant
D'Ambrogia Harold 10/09/2007
Wallace Clark 10/07/2008
Giacoma James 07/21/2009
Brooks E.R. 10/03/2006
Chevron wins property tax appeal for Richmond refinery
By Katherine Tam
Contra Costa Times
Posted: 09/03/2009 05:45:33 PM PDT
Updated: 09/03/2009 10:48:45 PM PDT
RICHMOND — Chevron overpaid property taxes by at
least $12.6 million at its Richmond refinery over three years, a finding
that could mean financial losses for Contra Costa County, its cities and
The Contra Costa Assessment Appeals Board ruled Thursday that the
county incorrectly calculated the refinery's property tax from 2004 to
Cities, schools, parks and fire districts countywide that received
property tax revenue could be affected, if they are asked to pay back
money. It was unclear Thursday whether Chevron would seek a refund.
"Any thinking about that is something to have a conversation about
with the county," said Dean O'Hair, refinery spokesman. "We want to make
sure this is implemented in a way that will work for everybody."
Contra Costa Supervisor John Gioia, who represents Richmond and other
cities in West County, feared a refund request could devastate
"All agencies are cutting services, and this would be more piling
on," Gioia said. "It comes at the worst possible time. I would call upon
Chevron not to ask public agencies to refund the $12.6 million."
If a refund is sought, those hardest hit would be the county at $1.7
million, followed by Contra Costa County Fire Protection District at
$853,000 and San Ramon Valley Fire District at $406,000, according to
the preliminary county figures. Richmond would be among the cities most
heavily impacted at $311,797.
Chevron's appeal had to do with how to accurately assess the
refinery's property value. In 2004, the county assessed the 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; Chevron's estimate was $1.14 billion.
The Assessment Appeals Board ruled the assessments were off by a
combined $1.2 billion for the three years.
O'Hair said an accurate assessment allows the refinery to stay
competitive, and continue to operate and employ people. County Assessor
Gus Kramer, who was "shocked" at the ruling, said his office worked hard
to defend assessments they believe accurately reflect the land value.
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