From Wyoming News Exchange newspapers

 

PINEDALE (WNE) — Adjustments made to 2017 and 2018 tax reporting means Exxon Mobil is owed $387,276 and change.

However, the real losers are special districts and county entities that must pay money back that may have been spent two or three years ago.

Commissioners were notified at the Feb. 18 meeting of the large adjustment by Sublette County Treasurer Emily Paravicini.

Notices of Valuation Change are handed down to county treasurers by the State of Wyoming. In this case, Exxon Mobil found an error in its self-reported numbers.

The refunds must be paid to the company within one year of the county receiving the notice from the state. When the amount exceeds $200,000, the county has an option to contact the company to negotiate a repayment plan. The company can either negotiate or demand the money immediately. The problem is not new to Sublette County. Past rebates hit the county after many small boards had already spent the money.

A reserve fund was established by Sublette County to repay a refund within the mandated one year required by law. Those districts still must repay the county and the amounts are deducted from future tax receipts. That buys them time to adjust future budgets.

As those future tax receipts are withheld, the funds go back into the county’s reserve account to repay the advance.