Alon Refinery and Howard County Settlement Reached

By Sarah Snyder
NewsWest 9

The fight between the Alon Refinery and Howard County could soon come to an end. 

Both parties have reached a compromise on the Refinery's property value, and now all that's left is the paperwork.

For the past three years, the Alon Refinery here in Big Spring and Howard County appraisers have been in a legal battle over how much the refinery is worth. But it looks like it soon may be coming to an end.

Several weeks ago, Alon agreed to pay taxes on half their value until the case could be resolved, and that has left Howard County taxpayers to pick up the rest.

This issue began back in 2006 when the refinery claims they weren't equally valued with other refineries and they filed a suit.

Judge Moore ruled on their 2007 value, but left the rest up to Alon and the appraisal district to settle out of court.

The two sides met last week, and Alon and Howard County won't discuss the numbers they came to, but on Monday evening the County Appraisal Board met and voted to accept Alon's offer.

"The issue is, they felt their number was right, and we felt our number was right," Brett McKibben, Chief Appraiser for Howard County, said.  "You know, whenever you have a settlement and negotiations, you have to come somewhere in between. As far as common, we probably had a thousand people come in this summer to contest their values, Alon being one of them."

The refinery has now filed suit for 2008, so there's three years in question. Once the paperwork has gone through, that will settle their value for all three years.

The county isn't sure when this case is going to be resolved, they're hoping things will get finished up by October. Now, they're in the beginning stages of assessing the value for 2009.