Business: Death on Taxes

Forty-eight hours after he moved up to manage Esso's sprawling oil refinery at Bayonne, N.J. on New Year's Day, mild-mannered Dr. David F. Edwards, 54, sent the city an ultimatum. Bayonne, which was threatening to raise Esso's taxes another $400,000 a year, must give up any idea of increased taxes, instead cut its operating budget by 10% within two weeks. If it did not, Esso would cancel its $2,000,000 modernization program at the Bayonne plant, and very likely move out altogether—just as Tidewater Oil Co. did two years ago. The Esso plant pays one-fourth of the tax bill of...

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