A case before the state 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals could cost St. Landry Parish about $500,000 a year in tax revenue.

The Daily World reports the issue boils down to whether a hole in the ground is an improvement for tax purposes.

Parish Assessor Rhyn Duplechain and Spectra Energy, which owns natural gas storage containers drilled into a salt dome near Port Barre, agree the containers are worth $119.6 million.

What they disagree on is the nature of the caverns.

Duplechain ruled they are improvements, taxed at 15 percent of assessed value.

Spectra argues, and the Louisiana Tax Commission has agreed, they are merely land features such as ponds and should be taxed at a 10 percent rate.

An appeal of the LTC's ruling is before the court.