Tom Butt
  E-Mail Forum – 2021  
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  Devaluation of Chevron Refinery Drives Richmond Property Tax Down to Lowest Increase in Contra Costa County
July 14, 2021

According to a letter from Contra Costa County Assessor Gus Kramer dated July 1, 2021, Richmond’s assessed valuation increase (and therefore property tax increase) was the lowest in Contra Costa County. The county as a whole had a 3.44% increase with the City of Oakley leading at 7.43%. Richmond was the lowest at 0.15%.

I asked County Assessor Gus Kramer what drove Richmond’s poor showing, pointing out that that real estate websites such as Redfin showed a 16.8% increase in the housing market; Chevron recently completed  $1 billion modernization; commercial/Industrial rents are generally on an upward trend; and sales of commercial properties are higher than ever (Hilltop Mall was bought for $24 million, sold in 2021 for $117 million, and Bay Area Logistics Center sold for $153.7 million)

Kramer told me, I don’t see Chevron as a major factor in these numbers,” and that COVID-19 related impacts on small business was the driver. He said a lot of property owners had filed for assessment reductions.

However, Anil Camelo from the City of Richmond laid the entire blame on Chevron, saying, “The city’s property tax revenue without Chevron went up by about 5% and was close to staff budget input.  Unfortunately, Chevron experienced a decline of almost 13% for a net gain of 1.6% in the detailed Equalized Roll and only 0.15% in the 2021-2022 County Assessment Roll.”

Anil provided the following, which showed a $1.6% increase on which the City’s FY 2021-22 budget was based.

Net Assessed Valuation




% Change






Richmond excluding Chevron





Total Richmond per Equalized Roll





Meanwhile, Chevron seems to be doing okay, with stock up 50% in the last eight months.