Jackson County approves large tax exemption for Chevron - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Jackson County approves large tax exemption for Chevron

Chevron's new base oil plant in Pascagoula. (Photo source: WLOX News) Chevron's new base oil plant in Pascagoula. (Photo source: WLOX News)
JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

The Jackson Co. Board of Supervisors approved a $10 million tax break for the Chevron expansion at Monday’s board meeting. Supervisors voted unanimously in favor of a ten year exemption for ad valorem taxes for Chevron’s $1.4 billion base oil project in Pascagoula.

Without the exemption Supervisor Melton Harris said Chevron’s tax bill on the project this year would have been $14.3 million. Even with the exemption the company will pay a little over $4 million in taxes on the project. Harris said the amount of the exemption will decrease over the ten years.

"Every year during the 10 years a tax assessor will do an assessment on the project to determine the exemption," Harris added. "They still have to pay school tax and road tax. The refinery pays the county $22 million a year and the schools in Jackson County get roughly $26 million a year," Harris said.

Chevron had to meet certain criteria for the exemption, which includes hiring local workers whenever possible and purchasing equipment from local vendors.

"This encourages investment in our county. Jackson County is the most industrialized county in our state. From 2000 to 2010 our population grew eight percent. The exemptions encourage employment in our area," Harris said. "We exempt everything, but 18 mils. There are counties that exempt 100 percent," Harris said.

Supervisor-elect Randy Bosarge questions why such a large tax exemption wasn’t discussed in the open meeting more in detail.
 
"The main thing for me is, we're talking about a significant amount of taxes that won't come into the county for the next 10 years. I'm all for helping companies out with exemptions as much as a we can, but there has to be a compromise with the taxpayers and industry when it comes to giving these large tax exemptions," said Bosarge. "Where is the benefit for the Jackson County taxpayer?"

Base oil is the main ingredient in the production of greases and lubricants. It's also in top-tier motor oil, which helps improve fuel economy and much more.  Chevron officials said the new plant is also expected to create at least 20 permanent jobs and help continue sustainability for the Pascagoula Refinery.
 
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