Education

Supreme Court: Pascagoula, schools have say in Chevron refinery taxes

The state Supreme Court denied a motion to rehear an earlier case that allows the Pascagoula-Gautier School District and the city of Pascagoula to be included in Chevron Pascagoula Refinery tax assessments.
The state Supreme Court denied a motion to rehear an earlier case that allows the Pascagoula-Gautier School District and the city of Pascagoula to be included in Chevron Pascagoula Refinery tax assessments. Chevron Pascagoula Refinery

The Mississippi Supreme Court will not reconsider a court decision that gives Pascagoula and its schools a say in the way Jackson County assesses taxes on Chevron’s Pascagoula Refinery.

The six-year-old case, which involved the county Board of Supervisors, the Pascagoula-Gautier School Board and the city of Pascagoula, concerned who can participate in the way the refinery would be taxed on property it leases from the county.

The Chevron property is in the Pascagoula-Gautier School District. However, it is not within the city limits of Pascagoula. Because the property is in the county, but the city is the taxing authority for the school district, the Board of Supervisors assesses and collects the taxes for the city per interlocal agreement.

The district is fortunate to be the beneficiary of a substantial tax base, and we strive to use those resources wisely to help educate our students.

Wayne Rodolfich, Pascagoula-Gautier schools superintendent

Supervisors suggested the tax arrangements be divided among all the school districts in Jackson County.

Attorneys for the school district countered that the state constitution provides that a school district may levy a tax to maintain its schools — not its schools and several others.

The court agreed with the school district and said the city and school district do have a say in Chevron’s property, even though the district doesn’t own the property.

“The Pascagoula-Gautier School District is pleased that the Mississippi Supreme Court upheld its prior decision finding that the city of Pascagoula and the district have standing to question property taxes assessed within the district,” schools Superintendent Wayne Rodolfich said. “The district is fortunate to be the beneficiary of a substantial tax base, and we strive to use those resources wisely to help educate our students.”

Justin Vicory: 228-896-2326, @justinvicory

  Comments