A drop in mineral values is been cited as the main reason for a decline in local property values this year.
That explanation may be difficult to grasp when gasoline prices at the pump are running $3.40 or more a gallon.
But mineral values are based on the price of crude oil and natural gas as of Dec. 31, 2012, said Greg Kelley, chief appraiser of the Hockley County Appraisal District.
Appraisal districts value properties at the end of the calendar year, or the first day of a new year.
This year, only five of 17 taxing entities had higher property values than a year ago.
Last year, all but one entity had higher values.
The drop in mineral values affected more than the county and South Plains College.
It also caused declines for such school districts as Whitharral and Ropes.
Whitharral ISD’s values slipped from $98.5 million in 2012 to about $85 million this year.
The oil and gas component of that fell from $61 million in 2012 to $48 million this summer,