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Council Rejects Nexen’s $19.5 Million Tax Relief Request

Fort McMurray, AB, Canada / MIX 103.7
Council Rejects Nexen's $19.5 Million Tax Relief Request

Nexen Long Lake's hydrocracker unit exploded on January 15, causing extensive damage to their upgrader facility and killing two workers // Supplied by Nexen

Nexen’s request for tax relief is being denied.

At last night’s council meeting, they asked for $19,585,477 in tax forgiveness after an explosion at their Long Lake facility in January 2016.  Two men, working on repairs, were killed in the blast.

“The upgrader wasn’t operational therefore not generating revenue but for all of 14 days,” said Scott Chalker, General Manager of Joint Ventures and Commercial for Nexen.

Council unanimously denied the request.

Mayor Melissa Blake tells Mix News this was a decision that needed to be made as funds are starting to become scarce.

“In a year where we are looking at a $7 million deficit, we don’t have the dollars to give away, we still have incredible pressure to get a lot of work done in the community to recover from the wildfire.”

Nexen says they’ve already appealed through the composite assessment review board.

“The door isn’t closed for them it just isn’t at the right table,” added Blake.

Nexen won’t be paying taxes in 2017 for the hydrocracker unit. Machinery and equipment is accessed once a year during December.

If the equipment is operational before it’s accessed than the company would pay taxes the following year. If it’s up and running after the assessment, they would get a year free of taxes.

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