Jefferson won't refund tax overpayment to quarry

January 20, 2000|By DAVE McMILLION, Charles Town

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - The Jefferson County Commissioners on Thursday denied Millville Quarry a tax refund that would have cost the county and the Jefferson County Board of Education more than $100,000, according to Jefferson County's prosecuting attorney.

Several Millville Quarry representatives appeared before the commissioners to request that the company be refunded between $120,000 and $130,000 for an error it made on its 1998 personal property tax return.

Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney Michael D. Thompson, who represented the Jefferson County Assessor's office on the matter, opposed the request during the hearing before the commissioners.

Had the commissioners voted to refund the money, the county's coffers would have lost $28,000 and Jefferson County Schools would have lost about $90,000, Thompson said.


"What's that? Two, two-and-a-half teacher's salaries? To me, that's outrageous," Thompson told the commissioners.

Attorney David Layva, who represented Millville Quarry, said the tax error stemmed from an $11 million water control project at the quarry, which encompasses about 857 acres along the Shenandoah River near Millville.

Water from the river was entering the quarry, and the $11 million had to be spent to seal the quarry and keep out river water, Layva said.

The $11 million project was "miscategorized" on the firm's 1998 tax return, which led to the higher tax paid to the county, Layva said.

Thompson said the refund could not be made because the 1998 tax statement filed by the company was about a month late.

Commissioner Al Hooper agreed, saying the state tax law clearly states that such refunds cannot be given if the return is filed past the deadline.

Millville Quarry has the right to appeal the decision to Jefferson County Circuit Court, although it was not clear whether the company would file an appeal, Hooper said.

Employees in Millville referred questions to an office in Beltsville, Md., where no one was available to comment.

The Herald-Mail Articles