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Do oil companies pay their fair share?
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5575

PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:16 pm    Post subject: Do oil companies pay their fair share? Reply with quote

Our right-thinking oil company alumnus from the far coast is fond of opining, from a great distance, about how unfairly his industry is treated. It seems like Chevron management can't recognize a sweetheart deal when they see one--but the courts can. I'm sure that he will tell us it is unwarranted judicial activism.

Quote:
Chevron loses Contra Costa County property tax appeal
By Lisa Vorderbrueggen
Contra Costa Times


mercurynews.com
Posted: 04/02/2012 05:05:57 PM PDT
April 3, 2012 9:44 AM GMTUpdated: 04/03/2012 02:44:17 AM PDT


MARTINEZ -- Chevron, which has insisted for years that the property tax bill for its Richmond refinery was too high, lost its argument Monday in the worst possible way: A county appeals board ruled the bill isn't nearly high enough.

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. Instead, Chevron must pay $27 million more.

"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."

Richmond Councilman Nate Bates urged the community to avoid "taking potshots at Chevron over this or that issue, and work together for the benefit of Richmond."

In the uncharacteristically detailed and strongly worded 24-page opinion, the three-member appeals board rejected the taxable values Chevron had vigorously defended -- and said even the higher values set by Contra Costa County Assessor Gus Kramer weren't high enough....
The board raised the refinery's fair market value to $3.7 billion, $4.4 billion and $3.8 billion for 2007, 2008 and 2009. The numbers reflect a 9.5 percent to 23 percent increase over Kramer's calculations.

In contrast, Chevron put the refinery's worth substantially lower at $1.8 billion, $1.4 billion and $1.1 billion for the same years.

The refinery pays roughly 1.35 percent of its value each year in property taxes.

Kramer, who was traveling, said he would review the ruling and meet with the board to prepare for future appeals.

"It's unfortunate and disappointing," Chevron spokesman Dean O'Hair said of the decision. "But we've got to now dig into the decision and understand it."

The oil giant clearly expected a favorable outcome.




Yoiu can read the full story and find a link to the actual decision here: http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_20310472/chevron-loses-contra-costa-county-property-tax-appeal
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mat-ty



Joined: 07 Jul 2007
Posts: 1092

PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Billions to explore, billions to extract, billions to refine, billions to deliver.

AND ITS CHEAPER THAN BOTTLED WATER, AMAZING!
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14624

PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll bet a board that the term "Fair share" is not even defined adequately in mac's post, because it never is. Thus I will assume that, as is virtually always true, that it means "Wealth redistribution", i.e., "IWANNIT".

Bleeping Marxists should go earn their own damned money, just like we capitalists have to do.
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 6032

PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

isobars is clearing missing the fact that mac had nothing to do with the Assessment Appeals Board decision. I have to say, why shoot the messenger? Moreover, what does isobars know about what really happened. Really, nothing at all, but he can't help but get all twisted up about it.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5575

PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I couldn't invent lunatic responses like this. Neither matty or Isobars bothered to understand the underlying post or controversy. Iso relies on the title and me as an author to post a nonsensical response that is more twaddle. Is there a better explanation for this than insanity?

If you don't understand what government does, you might have no idea that Chevron relies on governmental land for its business, for which it pays a pittance. You might not know that emissions from Chevron's refinery impose costs on the City of Richmond as well as local residents. And you might not know that the government provides much of the infrastructure, including dredged shipping channels, to be viable.

But if you don't want to know what government does, why it matters, or why companies should pay their fair share, you call yourself a conservative or a libertarian.
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mrgybe



Joined: 01 Jul 2008
Posts: 2895

PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A 100+ year old medium size refinery in a hostile political environment is worth $4 billion? Not a prayer. There is no-one in the industry that would pay a fraction of that. A refinery of that value would have to throw off close to $400 - 500 million in profits each year over time. In 2012 Chevron only made $1.5BN across it's entire US Downstream (network of gas stations, refineries, blend plants, transportation. etc.). All those who rely on Chevron's tax dollars would be wise to heed Councilman Nate Bates' words. This story is far from over.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-02-22/record-glut-of-refineries-sells-at-80-discount-as-margins-surge-real-m-a.html
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5575

PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The expected answer from a not so credible to the court source. As usual, mrgybe, you missed, or ignored the point. A number of years ago Chevron changed its approach in Richmond from cooperation to litigation. They beat a steady drum for their local efforts supporting volunteers and education--with friendly to the oil company messages--and challenge everything else with litigation. It may have coincided with their loss of political influence within the City Council, or been a reaction to that. This is the second high stakes case that they have lost pursuing that strategy.

The point, apologist, is that their stragegy is high risk, and risks in this case an even higher assessment for tax purposes. What you may not know about the process of appealing a case like this is that higher courts are always willing to look at the broad legal issues in appeal. They are, however, reluctant to overturn the lower courts findings of fact unless clearly arbitrary and capricious. But of course, from many thousands of miles away I'm sure you know more than I do about the case.

The point, for those who are willingly as well as blindly obtuse, is that Chevron could have negotiated a better deal than they got from the court, if they had been less litigious. A point not lost on the courts, as well as the political system. Negotiate and have friends, or pay the Koch's and be surprised that it doesn't win you friends.
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pueno



Joined: 03 Mar 2007
Posts: 2766

PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mat-ty wrote:

AND ITS CHEAPER THAN BOTTLED WATER, AMAZING!

Yeah, the price of bottled water is outrageous.

But, if we don't watch our environment, the price of both clean water and clean air will be even more outrageous.

It's those $4B refineries that are doing it to you.
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mrgybe



Joined: 01 Jul 2008
Posts: 2895

PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is the local taxation authorities that are playing a high risk strategy. There is a point at which a major company will cut it losses. I have no idea if Chevron is at that point, but I guarantee you they are actively considering it.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5575

PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, right, and face multiple years of multi-billion dollar clean-up, lawsuits and the rest. None are so blind as those who refuse to see that there might be another side to the story. The change in approach by Chevron was crystal clear--and could be reversed with a more nuanced mangement. But as long as you dinosaurs roar...
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