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Assessor claims companies not paying up

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Posted: Nov 19, 2013 5:13 PM by Adrian Pittman
Updated: Nov 19, 2013 6:56 PM
Source: WBRZ

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Topics: taxes, bayou corne, assumption parish, tax commission, tax assessor, salt dome

BATON ROUGE - Assumption Parish believes it's getting shortchanged by millions of dollars and wants the state to help make some companies pay up.

After the Bayou Corne sinkhole opened, parish officials claimed some companies near the sinkhole were not reporting all of their taxable assets. The parish says three companies could possible owe up to $6 million in taxes just this year.

According to the parish tax assessor, DOW Chemicial along with other companies may not be reporting all of its taxable assets.

"DOW Chemical has provided all information in accordance to state guidelines to the parish and to the assessor that he can properly come up with an evaluation for his 2013 tax toll," said Tommy Faucheux, a representative for DOW.

An independent audit claims companies on the Napoleonville Salt Dome like DOW, K.D.S Promix and Ponchatrain Natural Gas Company, didn't declare millions of dollars worth of wells when it should have. Now the parish is turning to the tax commission to get that money.

"We've been deprived for many years, and this is just one way of getting what's due to the tax payers of Assumption Parish," said Assumption Parish Tax Assessor, Wayne Blanchard.

The tax commission didn't make a ruling Tuesday. The parish will be back after the assessor resubmits tax bills that will include the audit's finding.

"As an assessor, we're supposed to put property on the tax roll, this property was omitted. It was not reported. It was discovered in an audit and now its our job by law to put it on the tax roll," said Blanchard.

But not without a fight from DOW.

"The assessor wants to change that and we disagree," said Faucheux.

The parish claims more than $24 million could be unaccounted for over the past three years. The parish plans to get that money back as well.

We contacted the other two companies involved and they tell News 2 they're looking into the matter.

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