Wise County certified values for 2012 might be best classified as somewhere between “holding steady” and “inching forward.”
Overall for the county, values increased 1.51 percent to $7,238,909,733, according to information released by Wise County Chief Appraiser Mickey Hand. Last year, overall values came in at $7.13 billion.
While the increase may seem minimal, it’s better news than in May, when preliminary values showed just over a 3 percent decrease.
It’s also a rebound from last year, when certified values dropped 2.35 percent from the previous year.
As has been the case for much of the last decade, oil and gas played a big role in figuring the values, although the role was a little different this year. Mineral values dropped for the second year in a row, by 4 percent, compared to a 9 percent drop last year.
The industry managed to make gains in other areas, however.
“A big portion of gains was in the oil and gas services industry,” Hand said. “While the drilling slowed down and minerals actually dropped slightly, the service industry in Wise County has remained busy.”
Business personal property, such as inventory and fixtures, increased 38 percent while industrial property and utilities rose 8 percent.
Hand said new wells added to the tax rolls totaled $193 million, which helped offset the declining production on older wells and lower gas prices. Previous year’s gains in new wells exceeded $400 million, he noted.
Real estate property values increased 1 percent, as $69 million in new real estate was added. That included $23 million in the Northwest School District, $21 million in the Decatur School District, $8.5 million in the Bridgeport School District, $6 million in the Chico School District and $4.7 million in the Paradise School District.
A major change from the preliminary values released in May of this year was in the values for the city of Chico. According to the preliminary values, Chico was projected to see a 7.85 percent increase in values. However, the certified values show a 7.27 percent decrease. Hand explained that there was one company reflected in both the Wise County Appraisal District’s roll and included with the appraisals done by an outside contract firm, resulting in duplication. Hand said the error was discovered just after preliminary numbers were released, and the city was notified.
Most local school districts showed gains in values. Values decreased in the Slidell and Boyd school districts, by 3.42 percent and 0.01 percent, respectively. The biggest increase in values came in the Alvord School District, at 12.16 percent, and Chico, at 8.34 percent. Alvord was helped by a 43 percent increase in business personal property while Chico saw a 32 percent increase in business personal property.
Of the 10 cities in the county (not counting parts of the city of Fort Worth), six will deal with lower values as they begin work on next year’s budget. Aurora, Chico, Newark, Paradise, Rhome and Runaway Bay reported decreases of 7.27 percent to 0.80 percent. Values in Alvord, Boyd, Bridgeport and Decatur increased from 0.15 percent to 1.78 percent.