"Coastal Parishes v. Big Oil" is the name of the website addressing the lawsuit just filed in federal court against Burlington & LL&E, for property taxes on equipment that is in onshore coastal waters as well as offshore waters within the three mile territorial limit. This lawsuit was filed by the Terrebonne Parish assessor claiming that the "big oil" companies committed fraud on their property tax reporting forms (the "LAT" forms) by (1) using a fraudulently low "replacement-cost-new-less-depreciation" values for equipment; (2) omitting certain pieces of equipment entirely; and (3) reporting certain wells as shut-in or stripper wells when they were, in fact, producing. The attorneys say that they have assessors from other parishes on board and that this is the first of many lawsuits to come against "Big Oil."

The link below is to the website established by the attorneys for the assessors. The complaint can be found on that website. It seeks (1) back taxes for some 10 years; (2) penalties for fraud; and (3) civil RICO penalties against the individual employee responsible for the LAT forms. It also contains complaints against LIOGA and the Louisiana Tax Commission, although neither is named in the complaint.

For more information, contact Robert Angelico, Jim Exnicios, or Cheryl Kornick.