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Property tax bills coming, expect little if any change for Abilene, Taylor County  

Petree said the changes have to do with wind turbines companies showing a tough business year. "The information that was brought to us by the wind turbine companies showed their income was down," Petree said. "These things are bought and sold based upon income."

Credit:  By Jaime Adame, Abilene Reporter-News, www.reporter-news.com 29 September 2011 ~~

Tax bills arriving as soon as Saturday won’t show much change from last year for many Taylor County property owners.

The final county tax roll increased by less than 1 percent compared to last year, according to data released Thursday by the Taylor County Central Appraisal District. Taxable property values in the city of Abilene increased by 1.36 percent compared to last year.

The appraisal district released preliminary values earlier this year, but there was “not much change” in the final values, said Richard Petree, the district’s chief appraiser.

The final tax roll reflects changes made after challenges from property owners to values set by the district.

Fewer property owners – only about 13,000 – received notices of increases or decreases this year compared to recent years. The number was similar to last year but less than a third of the valuation change notices sent out in 2008.

In Taylor County, notices inform property owners of changes in values of more than $1,000, or when ownership changes.

Taxable property values total about $6.56 billion in Taylor County, up from a tax roll of about $6.49 billion last year.

For the city of Abilene, taxable property has a value of about $4.93 billion, up from about $4.86 billion.

Values are “just flat,” Petree said.

The Abilene Independent School District saw property values increase 1.53 percent. Abilene ISD property values rose to about $3.96 billion from about $3.9 billion.

The amount of property tax owed is based on appraised value minus exemptions and the tax rate per $100 valuation. Abilene’s property tax rate remained unchanged compared to last year, while Taylor County’s rate increased to 47.62 cents per $100 from 47.22 cents, or an increase of about $4 for the owner of a house valued at $100,000 in both years.

The city of Lawn had the biggest increase in taxable values, which jumped by about 5 percent compared to last year. Wylie ISD had property values increase by 2.43 percent.

Until recently, total taxable property values showed strong increases. For example, from 2005 to 2008, taxable property values increased by 41.2 percent in Taylor County.

Now, some taxable entities are seeing those values decrease.

Trent ISD saw values plunge 35.1 percent, while values also slid for the city of Tye (down 8.38 percent), Merkel ISD (down 5.77 percent), the city of Buffalo Gap (down 1.85 percent) and Jim Ned Consolidated Independent School District (down by 1.71 percent). Values for the city of Tuscola were down by less than 1 percent.

Petree said the changes have to do with wind turbines companies showing a tough business year.

“The information that was brought to us by the wind turbine companies showed their income was down,” Petree said. “These things are bought and sold based upon income.”

Petree said state law allows school districts to count only a portion of a wind farm’s taxable value in exchange for direct payments from the wind farm, but that turbines within the Trent ISD were in place before the law took effect, leading to a more dramatic plunge in taxable values than seen in other school districts with wind farms.

Source:  By Jaime Adame, Abilene Reporter-News, www.reporter-news.com 29 September 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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