Wednesday, June 3, 2015


Last blog dealt with taxes and now I need to update some of the information from the last blog.  In spite of the increase in appraisals things might not be so bright.  Luminant, the county’s largest taxpayer, is protesting their value.  Word has it that they are looking for a reduction in appraised value of around 350 million.  Certainly would negate the ninety two million dollar overall increase in county values.

However, it seems the biggest taxpayer is always upset with their value.  When ALCOA was the big kid on the block they protested every year.  Now it’s Luminant’s turn to play the game, and I do mean game.  While I was Judge every year ALCOA had issues with their appraised value.  They always thought the values were way too high.  Guess what so does Luminant.
The total appraised value for both Sandow Units 4 and 5 for 2015 is 463,452,500 dollars.  2014 values were 431,542,700 dollars.  That is an increase in value of 31,909,800 dollars.  If you remember I mentioned an increase of over 92 million in total appraised value for the county in my last blog, and if you leave Luminant values at 2014 levels you still see an increase in appraised values of over 60 million dollars.
The game I am talking about is let's negotiate.  Luminant has real deep pockets, so they threaten to sue the appraisal district over the values.  They go to mediation and work out a deal.  Now as one can see the talked about reduction that Luminant is starting the game with is 350 million, and if they were to get that it means that unit four and five values would drop to a little over 113 million.  Is that reasonable?  Not at all, but they got to start somewhere and if you are going take a shot might as well shoot for the moon.
In the past the starting point for both ALCOA and Luminant has always been a lot more than the final amount agreed upon.  I guess no one really knows what the final figure will be, but you can be assured that it will not be the 350 million Luminant is shooting for.

The real issue is that we do not know what the final figures will be, and probably will not know till late this year or early next year.  That being said the Commissioners Court has to come up with a 2016 budget by mid September.  So what do they do?  Take the conservative side and figure they get the full decrease they are expecting, figure on half or base the budget on last years values?  It's a tough call and anybody's guess.  Anybody know a good fortune teller?

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