City Council approves abatements for ExxonMobil

ExxonMobil Beaumont Refinery at 1795 Burt St. in downtown Beaumont

During a meeting May 9, the Beaumont City Council unanimously approved an amendment to the city’s industrial district agreement with ExxonMobil and approved abatements requested by the company for new local expansion.

According to the council packet from the May 9 meeting, the council approved an industrial district agreement (IDA) with ExxonMobil on Feb. 2, 2016. The proposed change would amend the agreement to include language that states, “The payment each year will never be less than $11 million during the seven year agreement expiring at the end of 2022.”

The language provides the city with a guarantee that it will receive at least $11 million from ExxonMobil annually until 2022, even if the tax payment would be calculated at a lesser amount based on profits.

In addition to the amended language, the agenda item also included a request for additional abatements from the city in consideration of a new project.

According to council documents, the City Council approved an amendment to the IDA on May 24, 2016, to include the terms of two abatement projects known as the ExxonMobil Beaumont Polyethylene Expansion Project (BPEX) and ExxonMobil Beaumont Refinery Capacity Expansion Project (SCANFiner). The company is now in the advanced stages of evaluating a third project called the Beaumont Light Atmospheric Distillation Expansion Project (BLADE). The BLADE project would construct new facilities that would be integrated into the existing refinery to increase the company’s refining capability. ExxonMobil is asking the city to amend the IDA to clarify the abatement agreements for the BPEX and SCANFiner and add the terms of the requested abatement for the BLADE project.

Information from council indicates the company asked that language be added to the IDA so that “all new construction and equipment related to this project will receive 100 percent abatement for 11 years beginning the year following the start of construction activities.” The company estimates the value of the project at $1.5 billion. In consideration of the abatement, ExxonMobil would pay the city $800,000 in each of the first three years following the start of construction activities. City Manager Kyle Hayes said that would be in addition to the $11 million or more the city would already receive based on the current agreement.

The council agreed that the changes would be made to the IDA, and Mayor Becky Ames expressed appreciation to ExxonMobil for providing local jobs and boosting the local economy.

“Thank you so much ExxonMobil for what you are doing in our community,” said Ames. “We thank you very much.”