Texas Refineries May Get Back $135 Million

PASADENA, Texas (AP) - Three commissioners appointed by Texas Gov. Rick Perry may grant some of the nation's largest refineries a tax refund of more than $135 million, and that has schools and governments worried.

Communities fear they'll have to pay back money that's already spent after a particularly bad budget year.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is evaluating 16 requests for the refund. Valero believes it is eligible because of pollution-controlling technology used at refineries. The company thinks it shouldn't have to pay taxes on the devices because of a
Texas law that says such technology is tax-free.

Patricia Gonzales of Pasadena says the school her children attend has already laid off eight staff members and asked parents to donate money to pay for basketballs and gloves for science teachers.