Property values plummet this year

Hurt by a major drop in crude oil prices, property values for local taxing entities took a significant hit this summer.

Only five of 17 taxing entities registered gains in property values compared to last year.

The declines – some more than 30 percent – have already put pressure on local governments to make up for a shortfall in revenue in the coming fiscal year.

Officials with Hockley County, which lost  $1 billion in values, have agreed to raise the ad valorem tax rate by more than a dime per $100 valuation to offset the erosion in values.

County Commissioner Larry Carter said the Court has no choice but to hike the rate. Itís either that or begin reducing services for county residents.

Commissioners have also agreed to use some reserves – less than $300,000 – to help offset the loss.

While the loss in values for the City of Levelland was much lower than for the county, the city council has already proposed raising the ad valorem tax rate by 7.6 cents per $100 valuation for 2015-16.

‘It will allow us to raise the same amount of revenue as last year,’ said City Manager Rick Osburn.

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