Jackson County approves exemption for refinery

Published 3:30 pm Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Jackson County Board of Supervisors approved a tax exemption on a $155.66 million expansion of Chevron Pascagoula Refinery on Monday.

In its first year the exemption has a value of about $1.03 million. The value of the exemption will decrease over its 10-year life.

Under the county’s tax exemption policy, Chevron will pay a little more than 18 mills or $422,000 to the county’s budget, which will include a payment of $1.29 million in school taxes to the Pascagoula School District. The policy also requires three mills for road taxes, nine mills for the county’s general fund and just over six mills in junior college taxes.

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Supervisor John McKay said he wanted to make clear that Chevron was not being exempted from all taxes.

“It is a good deal for the county and it is a good deal for the company,” McKay said. “It is a good deal all around.”

Supervisor Frank Leach said Chevron did not seek all it was entitled to under state law, which allows companies that invest more than $100 million in the state to seek a payment in lieu of taxes from both the local government and the school boards.

If Chevron had sought payment in lieu of taxes, Leach said Chevron’s tax bill to the county would have been about $100,000.

Chevron’s new fluid catalytic cracker unit has raised the production capacity of the company from 5 million gallons of gas per day to 5.5 million gallons of gas per day. Chevron is seeking an additional expansion to increase its output to 6.3 million gallons of gas per day.