BY REBECCA PALMER
BOUNTIFUL — An investigation by the Davis Clipper has led the Davis County assessor to discover that the county undercharged Holly Refinery in Woods Cross by about $33,000 on 2011 property taxes.
The problem was due to a computer error that caused two of Holly’s 20-plus parcels to be left out when assessment data was transferred to a billing application, said County Assessor Dennis Yarrington. Together the parcels were worth about $2.55 million.
The refinery’s taxes were also reduced between 2010 and 2011 because some of its properties were correctly designated as green belt land, Yarrington said. In such cases, Utah law allows properties to be taxed at a fraction of market value if they are used for agriculture.
Chevron and other refineries also have such classifications on their land, Yarrington said. Holly saved about $43,000.
With both changes, the assessed value of Holly’s real property dropped from $4.6 million between 2010 and 2011, Yarrington said.
Holly representatives did not immediately return calls, but Yarrington said the refinery was expecting the corrected bill.
While the value of Holly’s land dropped, the value of its personal property — things such as equipment and towers — grew. In 2008, it held $62.3 million worth of real property and was charged about $760,000 for it. The next year, its property was wroth $104.9 million, taxed at $1.17 million. In 2010, personal property value was $161.1 million, taxed at $1.92 million. In 2011, it was $150.9 million, taxed at $1.93 million. By 2012, its real property value was $156.8 million, taxed at $2.3 million.
Davis County is looking through all its records for 2011 to find out if the computer problem affected other records.
“We issue corrections all the time, both up and down,” Yarrington said. “We just try to get it right.”