A Contra Costa property tax appeals board has agreed to postpone for up to two years Chevron's 2010-2011 challenges of the taxable worth assigned to its Richmond refinery.
It's the latest move in Chevron's eight-year fight with county Assessor Gus Kramer over the taxable value of its large Richmond refinery complex.
Chevron sought the 2014 delay to await the outcome of pending lawsuits in Superior Court, company spokesman Dean O'Hair said.
The company is suing the Contra Costa Assessment Appeals Board's decision on its 2004-2006 appeal. The refinery sought a $73 million tax refund but was awarded $17 million.
Chevron filed the second lawsuit last July in its ongoing dispute with the appeals board and Kramer over a complex procedural matter.
The company may also take the county to court over the appeal board's latest decision on the refinery's 2007-2009 tax challenge. The panel rejected Chevron's argument that it was due a $73 million refund out of its $129.5 million tax bill for the three-year period, and ruled that the company instead owed an additional $27 million.
In the 2010-2011 appeal, the petroleum giant seeks to cut by nearly half the $65 million in property taxes it paid during the two-year period, asserting that Kramer again overvalued the refinery.
Chevron is also closely watching the outcome of a case brought by the Western States Petroleum Association against the state Board of Equalization.
A Southern California appeals court in January tossed out a 5-year-old state regulation -- dubbed Rule 474 -- that determined how to set the taxable value of oil refineries. The rule limited the extent to which the declining value of aging equipment could reduce a refinery's overall tax bill.
Dumping the rule favors the state's 13 oil refineries, most of all Chevron, the county's biggest taxpayer.
The Board of Equalization is seeking a California Supreme Court review of the lower court's decision.
Contact Lisa Vorderbrueggen at 925-945-4773,email@example.com ,www.ibabuzz.com/politics or atTwitter.com/lvorderbrueggen .
Copyright 2012 San Jose Mercury News. All Rights Reserved.
(Originally published April 25, 2012, in the San Jose Mercury News.)