Marathon’s benefits to parish evident

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 4, 2008

Representatives from Marathon Petroleum Company recently presented St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff Wayne Jones and Parish Assessor Whitney Joseph with checks for Marathon’s 2007 property taxes totalling approximately $11.3 million. The payment represents nearly 26 percent of the total property taxes collected by St. John the Baptist Parish this year and is a $931,751 increase over the amount paid in 2006.

In addition to property taxes, Marathon contributed an estimated $ I 4.6 million in sales and use taxes either directly or through reimbursement to its contractors and vendors during 2007. This amount includes $8.9 million in estimated taxes paid by Marathon’s contractors & vendors associated with its $3.2 billion refinery expansion, which is currently underway. This project is

anticipated to generate an additional $51 million of non-recurring tax revenue for the Parish over the next two years. Although a portion of the sales tax generated from the construction project is refundable to Marathon under Louisiana’s Enterprise Zone Program, the company has elected to waive any Parish sales tax refund obtainable through this program. Marathon’s contribution to the Parish and State is not limited to the amount of taxes paid. The refinery also conducts business with over 100 local merchants and suppliers, and generates a significant amount of employment for area residents. Marathon’s current refinery operations employ approximately 580 regular company employees and approximately 375 full time contract employees. An additional 95 Marathon employees have already been hired in preparation for start-up of the new refinery units being constructed, and total employment is expected to increase

to approximately 780 company employees and 450 contractors upon start-up of the expansion. The company has invested millions of dollars in Garyville to fully comply with new environmental regulations, and enjoys one of the best environmental records in Louisiana, as evidenced by the number of Louisiana Governor’s Awards For Environmental Excellence received by the refinery. Marathon’s Garyville Refinery is the only refinery in the United States

which has been accepted into the United States EPA’s National Environmental Performance Track Program. The refinery has also been recognized by OSHA for its commitment to safety and health, as it is one of only twenty-seven in the United States designated as an OSHA STAR facility. Marathon and its employees contribute to the community through involvement and financial support of the San Francisco Plantation Foundation, Louisiana Technical College River Parishes Campus, public education, volunteer fire departments, charitable organizations and other activities.

Mr. Bedell indicated he is extremely proud of the company’s record regarding environmental stewardship, maintenance of a safe workforce, and its ongoing community involvement & support. Marathon’s planned expansion demonstrates its commitment to ensuring such operations continue well into the future.