St. James Council adding $3.3 million in tax revenue to budget

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 15, 2007


Staff Reporter

CONVENT- The St. James Parish Council will be adding $3.3 million in tax revenue to the budget.

Motiva Enterprises has ceased to challenge an assessment value that suggested the company’s assets entitle the parish to collect $3.3 million in taxes that includes all property and assets. The money will be added to the parish budget as soon as the tax collector is notified of the agreement.

In September of 2006, Motiva had moved to challenge the assessment value after the assessor’s office informed the company of the amount owed at a Board assessment review.

Glenn Waguespack, the parish tax assessor, said, &#8220We are happy that the challenge was dropped. Motiva has agreed to pay the amount suggested by the parish, and by doing so will help ensure that industry is paying its full burden of the tax share.”

In addition to Motiva agreeing to pay the amount suggested, a district court ruled in favor of St. James Parish that would require Gramercy

Alumina to pay $1.7 million in tax dollars to the parish. The company had paid 2005 taxes under protest and challenged the assessment, along with Motiva, in 2006.

Gramercy Alumina can still appeal the decision to a higher court. It has not been determined at this time what the company will do. The company has argued that their tax liability is only $1.2 million.

&#8220Companies have every right to challenge assessments. They are, after all, an opinion of value, but I feel that the court made the right decision. If industry doesn’t pay, then the cost will eventually have to be offset by small businesses and homeowners,” Waguespack said.

&#8220I think there is still room for negotiation with Gramercy Alumina, if needed,” he said.