Apparently oil companies have been paying a Texas sales tax on certain items which they claim should be exempt. Sounds like a legitimate enough issue for the courts and an appropriate issue for a newspaper article. See Midland driller’s lawsuit could cost Texas billions in tax refunds which is a reproduction of a New York Times' partner, Texas Tribune, article a day earlier.
My issue is with the treatment given by the reporter. He calls the potential taxpayer refund a "cost," and that seems to mischaracterize the transaction.
If a business collected money for a product that was never delivered and then had to return the money, is that a "cost" to that business? There is probably a word for it, but "cost" doesn't seem consistent with ordinary meaning.
"Cost" is the word one uses when one is a fan of the notion that property and money really belong to the government -- whatever you get to keep is at the pleasure of the government. And if the the taxpayer dutifully paid the government through a misinterpretation of the statute, and the government is forced by a court to return it -- God forbid! -- that's not a cost. That is merely returning money to the rightful owner. That's justice.