NEWS HEADLINES

Property values mostly stable

By Bob Buckel | Published Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Property values in Wise County didn’t move much according to the 2014 preliminary values summary released this week by the Wise County Appraisal District.

But what movement there was, was largely in a good direction.

“New construction has picked up countywide,” Mickey Hand, chief appraiser for the district, said Tuesday. “It was $79 million this year, up from $74 million last year.”

Hand said that total is the highest since new construction hit $109 million in 2007. Since then it’s been $68 million in ’08, $69 million in ’09, $62 million in 2010 and $71 million in 2011.

“It’s still not back where it was, but it’s moving in the right direction, coming back up,” he said.

The county as a whole also gained $200 million in values from new pipelines and utility-related construction, including power lines. Minerals too – oil, gas and rock – were up $438 million countywide.

All seven of the county’s school districts were in positive territory, although state funding formulas generally compensate for big gains and losses – bolstering the losers and penalizing the winners – so that windfalls don’t benefit local districts, but instead bring more money to the state.

Boyd ISD had the biggest gain, with overall values up 9.37 percent from last year. Boyd’s best news came in minerals, which rose 23 percent, offsetting a 26 percent drop in the business personal property category – which consists of inventory, furniture, fixtures and equipment.

Alvord ISD and Bridgeport ISD both saw 6.8 percent gains, fueled mostly by the industrial/utility category – pipelines and power lines.

Alvord ISD was up 21.3 percent in that area, while Bridgeport ISD was up 17.8 percent.

Most cities saw slight gains or losses. The exception was Chico, where property values fell by more than 10 percent in spite of a whopping 182 percent increase in mineral values.

The loss leader for Chico was industrial/utility, which fell by 22 percent. Real estate was down as well, falling 5.12 percent with just $54,000 in new construction added during the past year.

Hand said when oilfield service companies move assets elsewhere, it can have a big impact on a smaller entity like Chico or Alvord.

Rhome’s values fell 4.2 percent, and all the other cities fell by 2 percent or less. Aurora, Boyd, Bridgeport and Paradise all saw small gains.

The county itself was up almost 4 percent, led by a 12 percent rise in the industrial/utility category.

The county’s rise in minerals was a modest 3.15 percent, while real estate – land and improvements – rose by 1.3 percent as more than $77 million in new construction hit the tax rolls.

The only dropoff countywide came in business personal property, which was down 3.9 percent.

By the numbers

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