TAX BLUES: One month after mailing out...
TAX BLUES: One month after mailing out tax assessments, the Ventura County tax assessor has received nearly 2,000 requests to reduce property taxes from disgruntled homeowners and businesses (B1). . . . The total is about 2 1/2 times greater than the number of appeals the assessor received during the same period last year. What’s more, the assessor’s office still has a backlog of 2,600 cases from last year.
TRASH WANTED: One person’s trash is another’s treasure. . . . That’s the idea behind the newly created Ventura County Material Exchange program. Sponsored by the Solid Waste Management Department, the program helps local companies hand over unwanted paint, furniture and scrap metal to others who can use them. That way donors save on the cost of disposal, and landfill space is preserved. Said department spokeswoman Lorraine Timmons: “It has excellent potential in terms of waste diversion.” For more information, call 648-9226.
STUCK IN SIBERIA: It wasn’t easy persuading a clan of Siberian reindeer herders to allow oil drilling on their land. Promising not to harm the environment, officials of Oxnard-based Benton Oil and Gas Co. managed to win the support of the indigenous tribe of nomads (Valley Business, Page 12) . . . Benton’s deal, however, has since been soured by a $5-per-barrel export tax imposed by Russian President Boris Yeltsin. Said Benton’s chief executive: “It’s rather depressing after you’ve put in several years of work, countless trips to god-awful places and extremely difficult negotiations with very tough people.”
WAIT’LL NEXT YEAR: Attendance at this year’s Ventura County Fair was down 10% from last year (B1). . . . Publicist Devlin Raley said organizers were nevertheless pleased with the fair’s operations and plan no significant changes in marketing strategy for next summer’s event. Said he: “I would rank this year’s fair in the top two or three in the 14 years I’ve been doing it because everything went so smoothly.”