Jackson County

State Supreme Court says Pascagoula, schools have dog in Chevron tax hunt

The state Supreme Court ruled Thursday the Pascagoula-Gautier School District and the city of Pascagoula should be included in the wrangling over the assessment of some of Chevron’s taxes.
The state Supreme Court ruled Thursday the Pascagoula-Gautier School District and the city of Pascagoula should be included in the wrangling over the assessment of some of Chevron’s taxes.

A state Supreme Court ruling Thursday paved the way for the city and the Pascagoula-Gautier School District to participate in the way Chevron’s Pascagoula Refinery would be taxed on property it leases from Jackson County.

The case dates to 2010 when the city and its school system disputed the way Jackson County was assessing a portion of the refinery.

They sued to have a say and have taken it all the way to the state high court.

“Essentially, the school district disagreed with the value we put on Chevron and appealed it,” county Tax Assessor Nick Elmore said. “The county’s stance was that the schools didn’t have a standing to sue.”

He said the county argued it wasn’t enough that the school district just decided Chevron wasn’t assessed enough. The district didn’t own the property.

He said it would be like a resident appealing a neighbor’s property value when they didn’t own the property and had no interest in it.

But the Supreme Court said the city and the school district do have standing and should be included in the hearings to assess the value.

The majority of justices said the city and schools had a “colorable interest in the subject matter” and could experience an adverse effect when the value was set.

“Thus, we reverse the trial court’s decision to grant the motion to dismiss for lack of standing,” the high court ruled Thursday, “and remand the case for further proceedings.”

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