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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The West Virginia Supreme Court says tax officials properly appraised Century Aluminum's idled Jackson County plant.

Tuesday's 3-2 ruling upholds the $54 million value assigned to the plant's machinery, equipment and inventory.

The 2010 tax year appraisal followed the plant shutdown the prior year. The California-based metal producer alleged that tax officials failed to reduce the appraisal given the plant's status.

Chief Justice Menis Ketchum agreed with Century in a dissenting opinion. He was joined by Justice Brent Benjamin.

The ruling arrives amid attempts to restart the Ravenswood plant. That effort has the company seeking a special electrical utility rate.

About 650 workers lost their jobs when the plant closed. Hundreds of retirees later lost their health benefits. A deal to restore some retiree coverage hinges on the plant reopening.

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