In any city it has a presence; Chevron is likely the largest company. However, in El Segundo, Chevron’s close ties and influence with city governance is getting a second, closer look.

In its history with El Segundo – which includes helping to found the city a century ago – Chevron has worked closely with the city council. Some see collusion in the relationship and point to several questionable decisions made by the city in the last 25 years.

For instance, an auditor found a deficiency in Chevron’s tax bill amounting to $7.5 million in unpaid taxes. The city then suspended the auditors and settled the tax dispute for several hundred thousand dollars. More recently, former city manager Doug Willmore proposed a nine-fold increase in the company’s acreage tax – raising their tax liability from $1,382 per acre to $12,146 per acre. He was fired less than a year later.

And instead of pursuing that tax increase, the city has sat down with the oil company to negotiate increased payments. The tax would have generated an extra $10 million per year and the city hopes negotiations will reap as much as $5 million in additional revenues each year for the next 15 years.

Chevron occupies 951 of the city’s 2,957 acres, or roughly one-third of the land. However, their total tax bill accounts for just 10 percent of the city’s revenues.

From the Daily Breeze:

When El Segundo leaders last year were deciding whether to pursue a nearly ninefold tax hike on the Chevron oil refinery, they looked out to a City Council chambers filled with company supporters.

Employees and their families, school leaders and former elected officials argued the proposed increase to the refinery’s acreage tax was ill-timed and even wrong.

Read the full article here.