The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

District owes Chevron over $700,000 in taxes

Not only does the community college district owe Chevron money, but the entire county of Contra Costa owes Chevron a total of $18 million in property tax due to the ruling.

 According to the financial website Earnings Whispers, Chevron’s earnings were $19 billion in 2010, up from $10.5 billion from 2009. Both the political activist group the Richmond Progressive Alliance and Richmond Mayor Gayle McGlaughlin say Chevron has had a history of minimizing and resisting its tax burden.

To date, Chevron has not responded to the Inquirer’s attempts to interview the corporation on this matter.

In 2008, Richmond passed Measure T, which increased the business license fee for larger companies like Chevron. In 2009, Chevron took Measure T to court and succeeded in getting the measure defeated.

In 2010, the alliance started a campaign to end Chevron’s flat utilities tax perk. The utility tax is the main income for Richmond.

Chevron countered with a proposal to lower the utilities tax for everyone. In the aftermath, Chevron agreed to pay the city of Richmond $114 million over the course of 15 years. Alliance member Jeff Ritterman, in an open letter in the group’s newsletter, stated that the most recent tax appeals board ruling was biased and corrupted by conflict of interest.

Joe Fisher, who sat on the assessment appeals board during the ruling, is also the executive director of Black American Political Action Committee . The The Richmond Political Alliance claims Fisher’s political action committee receives a lot of contributions from Chevron.

The Richmond mayor acknowledged the potential for a perceived conflict of interest in the decision, but stated that there is not enough evidence to validate it.

The Richmond mayor says her city has not come up with a plan to pay for its share of the settlement and instead is encouraging the county to continue the fight

“Chevron is a corporation whose main job is to make profit and our job is to make sure that the citizens are protected and their needs are addressed,” McGlaughlin said.

What’s more, she said, “We don’t feel that we owe money to Chevron, but we feel that Chevron owes money to us. Let’s co-exist but let’s do it with the understanding that you hone a responsibility to our community.”

Meanwhile the community college district has a different outlook. Leong said that the district will figure out with Chevron how to minimize the impact to the colleges.

 “They continue to provide support in the community and we ask for more. …I don’t think we can hold them up for scrutiny for being profitable,” said Leong. “All Chevron asked for is fairness.”

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About the Contributor
Brian Donovan
Brian Donovan, Editor-in-chief
Editor-in-chief, spring 2012. Staff member, spring and fall 2011.

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District owes Chevron over $700,000 in taxes