CHS tax protest explained at school board meeting

Outlook staff writer

At Monday’s School Board Meeting Shelly Nauman, Controller of CHS Laurel Operations, and Pat Kimmet, Vice President of Refining, were on hand to update the board on the CHS Protested Taxes from 2014-2017.

Nauman said the 2015-17 tax protests will be held until the 2014 protest is resolved. Because they will appeal any negative rulings all the way up to the Supreme Court, she said, “We expect it to be 3-4 years until 2014 is settled.”

It will likely be 2021, or beyond, before CHS will start addressing the 2015 tax protests, and then years before 2016 is addressed ... ad infinitum.

CHS is protesting 63.39 percent of this years taxes.

Kimmet said the protest is due to “equalization” where CHS believes they are being taxed unfairly on an assessed value that is inaccurate. 

“There is a problem with how the refineries are assessed. We are being taxed dollar-for-dollar and it’s higher than both Billings refineries combined. We invested capital in the coker and the assessed value is not equal to the market value.”

He compared it to putting a pool in your backyard and said the homeowner won’t get back what they put in. 

“The Department of Revenue won’t make a change; this can only be solved [by changes made] in the state legislature.”

When the school board mentioned the protest is hurting the school district, Kimmet said “senior management isn’t going to drop this.”

Then, the board moved to a bond update discussion.

Superintendent Linda Filpula asked for further discussion about a bond in the spring to purchase the 31-acre site that failed last month in the general election. 

“We need to seriously consider buying the land [for future expansion], as we may lose that piece of property.”

The property off Main Street is currently still on the market.

Filpula discussed a Memorandum of Understanding between the Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch and Laurel Public Schools to coordinate chemical dependency services for children receiving services at LPS sites. 

Filpula stressed that this service comes at no cost to the district and the school district only provides space for the YBGR to offer their services to counselors and staff. LPS may also refer children to the program.


The MOU addressed:

• Referral to services by LPS to YBGR;

• Provision of space and privacy at LPS school site location to YBGR to perform services;

• Use of technology including: Internet access, phone, copy/fax/scan equipment and other basic office supplies;

• Appropriate communication between parties following all terms of the agreement to provide quality services for children.

In other business:

• Curtis Fox was hired as Laurel High School Head boy’s track coach. 

• Winter Cherry, David Walters, Shawna Mendenhall, Ali Helgeson and Bobette Lindstrand were hired as Laurel Schools substitute teachers.

• Laurel Head Volleyball Coach Jodi Alexander submitted her resignation.

• All other fall sports coaches were rehired for the Fall 2018 seasons.


Upcoming Events

Tuesday, March 26, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.
Tuesday, March 26, 2019
Fourth Tuesdays, 7 p.m., Eagles Hall, 313 W. Main, 628-4503
Wednesday, March 27, 2019
10 a.m., Laurel Public Library, 720 West Third Street, Laurel, 628-4961
Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., check for more info. Find them on Facebook . Email them to find out meeting time and to join: The club will have a meeting or volunteer activity. Meeting location is Sid's East Side Bar & Grill on first and third Wednesdays of each month. Members and guests eat free.  Volunteer activity on the second Wednesday of each month. Check their facebook page for updates.  Every fourth Wednesday is for a club social activity. 
Monday, April 1, 2019
• Corinthian Lodge No. 72, AF&AM, first & third Monday, 7:30 p.m., Masonic Temple, Laurel Masonic Temple, 9900 Airport Road (except July-August)
Tuesday, April 2, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.


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