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Richmond Asks Refinery To Offset Loss In Tax Revenue
July 10, 1997



Thursday, July 10, 1997
Section: news
Page: A03

RICHMOND City officials are asking Chevron to donate up to $4 million a year to make up for tax revenue the city could lose if the oil company is successful in getting its properties assessed at a lower value. 

In exchange, the city would promise not to impose any new taxes on Chevron during the length of the agreement, which is expected to be about five years. 

Chevron and city officials will meet today to discuss a plan to replace property tax revenue that would be lost if the county assessor grants Chevron's request to have its properties re-assessed. On Tuesday, Mayor Rosemary Corbin appointed a committee to negotiate specific terms with the company. 

Corbin said Wednesday that a conceptual agreement has been discussed, and language would be worked out in the next few days. The arrangement would give the city a stable revenue source that otherwise would be lost, she said. 

Also under discussion is a proposal for Chevron to provide funds or other resources to help the city government in streamlining operations to save money. 

"Any organization as old as ours could take a look at how it operates," Corbin said. 

Councilman Tom Butt, one of four council members assigned to the negotiating committee members, is skeptical about the proposal. "I don't know what's going on, but I'm suspicious," Butt said Wednesday. "I'm wary of having any agreement with Chevron that's not very specific." 

Butt, however, agreed Tuesday to delay a council vote on a proposed November ballot measure to increase Chevron's utility tax bill. 

Hal Holt, a Chevron spokesman, said the company's goal is for Richmond to be "less reliant on Chevron" for revenue. Richmond receives about 25 percent of the taxes collected on Chevron property in the city. The county and state get most of the rest.