< I don’t know who does Ohio’s tax valuation but even if they triple Toledo or Lima next year……they should take the deal and be glad the state appreciates oil companies presence. – Comments CRandall>
Refinery’s tax value fraction of price
BY SHEENA HARRISON BLADE BUSINESS WRITER
Although the PBF Toledo Refining Co. on Woodville Road sold for $400 million in December, the facility’s assessed value was just a fraction of the purchase price.
It is valued at about $11.6 million, according to the most recent assessment of the property by the Lucas County Auditor’s Office. That value was determined in 2006 through a formal assessment and it was retained in a 2009 review, Auditor Anita Lopez said.
The facility is to be re-evaluated in 2012, although it’s unclear whether the value will change upon which property taxes are based. Ms. Lopez said the recession resulted in lower values of many commercial properties. Next year’s reassessment will factor in last year’s sale of the refinery by Sunoco to PBF, and the value of any similar refinery sales across the country from 2009 to 2012.
“There’s a number of checks and balances that will take place in order to make sure the value is accurate based on this recent transaction,” she said.
PBF President Michael Gayda said the purchase price included the real estate as well as the refinery equipment and other assets that aren’t included in the county’s assessment. The company has not yet had a independent appraisal of the facility, he said.
The assessed value of the refinery affects funding for Toledo and Oregon schools, both of which had levies that were rejected by voters in November and are projecting budget challenges.
Toledo Public Schools is predicting a $38 million budget shortfall for the 2011-12 school year. Oregon City Schools has proposed eliminating teaching positions and high school busing, among other cutbacks, to slash $2.4 million from next year’s budget.
Oregon schools Treasurer Jane Fruth said the district has an attorney who watches property sales and challenges assessments if they seem undervalued. The district has not challenged the value of the PBF Toledo refinery, she said.
“If it’s valued too low, it can have the effect of making our homeowners pay more and that isn’t necessarily fair to them,” Ms. Fruth said.
The refinery’s taxable value is similar to that of the BP Husky refinery in Oregon, which was assessed at $10.7 million in 2009, according to Lucas County. However, Allen County has placed more than double the value on Husky Energy Corp.’s refinery in Lima, which was assessed at $25.7 million in 2009, according to that county’s auditor’s office. Those facilities are due for reassessment next year.
The PBF refinery has a 170,000-barrel-a-day capacity; BP Husky and Husky Energy refineries each has a 160,000-barrel-a-day capacity.
Aside from any physical differences in the facilities, Ms. Lopez said Lucas County has separate economic circumstances from Allen County that could place a lower value on the PBF Sunoco and the BP Husky refineries compared to the Lima facility. “Each market is different,” she said.