A request for a tax refund by the Valero Energy Corporation, one of the world’s largest oil refiners, was rejected by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) just before Christmas. Valero asked for the money under a state law that says companies don’t have to pay taxes on equipment that reduces on-site pollution.
This week comes news that Valero will not seek an appeal of the TCEQ’s decision. In an email to StateImpact Texas, Valero spokesperson Bill Day says that “we did not appeal the TCEQ decision.” He had no other statement beyond that, but did tell Matthew Tresaugue of the Houston Chronicle that:
“Valero spokesman Bill Day said the company no longer would seek the exemption because it had reached agreements with appraisal districts for lower valuations on their refineries in all but one county where the company operates. Negotiations are ongoing with Moore County, Day said.”
It appears that the case is closed. The request was originally made in 2007, when Valero bought the equipment. The money, potentially as much as $92 million, would have come from property tax refunds in appraisal districts, which means it would have been taken back from cities and schools that are already struggling. The request for the tax break drew protests from community leaders, schools and environmental groups.