NEWS HEADLINES

Mineral values provide county ‘windfall’

By Kristen Tribe | Published Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas came early for Wise County commissioners.

Auditor Ann McCuiston told them Monday that $200 million in mineral values were added to the appraisal rolls for 2009 through 2012. With a 98 percent collection rate, that means an additional $742,420 in tax money for the county.

“It’s more or less a windfall,” said County Judge Bill McElhaney. “All the money is from minerals.”

This is in addition to the certified values released in July. Deidra Deaton with the Wise County Appraisal District said supplemental mineral values arise because the Railroad Commission has a backlog of information. She said the Commission indicated it can take eight to 40 months for a well to be discovered.

“In recent years, we’ve had supplementals every year,” she said. “It’s a constant change… These wells are constantly getting information in.”

McCuiston said the county last benefited from supplemental mineral values in 2011, when just over $54 million hit the tax rolls after the official appraised values had already been set.

The $200 million coming onto the tax rolls this year will allow the county not only to give money to each precinct, but also tuck some away for capital projects.

“Merry Christmas!” McElhaney told the commissioners , who were pleasantly surprised by the news.

Allocation of the $742,420 in newly generated funds includes $9,797 to the right-of-way fund; $40,558 for Precinct 1; $58,110 for Precinct 2; $30,673 for Precinct 3 and $37,209 for Precinct 4. The general fund will see $566,073.

At the recommendation of McCuiston and McElhaney, commissioners approved transferring $300,000 of the $566,073 to a capital projects fund, with $200,000 to be split evenly among the precincts.

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