Property taxes are a hot topic amid global pandemic

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"You say we were in a bust, but property values and sales of properties weren't reflecting a bust at the end of December when we were appraising property as of January 1."

ECTOR COUNTY, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – Odessa College, one of the seven taxing entities in Ector County, held a public hearing Tuesday to vote on a raised tax rate.

Five of Ector County’s seven taxing entities have already voted on a new tax rate for the coming fiscal year. Ector County Independent School District, Odessa College and City of Odessa all saw a rise, while City of Goldsmith dipped slightly. Ector County voted 4-1 Tuesday to keep its rate the same.

Tax rates may rise as most property appraisals increased this year, but Chief Appraiser for Ector County Appraisal District, Anita Campbell, says this year’s appraisals are not indicative of the “bust” we are in following a pandemic.

“You say we were in a bust, but property values and sales of properties weren’t reflecting a bust at the end of December when we were appraising property as of January 1,” explained Campbell.

Guidelines used for appraisals each year comes from previous year’s data. Most specifically, the third quarter. So could this mean higher rates for tax payers next year?

“If the market doesn’t come back to a level, if oil prices stay down, if sales of real property or commercial property don’t indicate that values have decreased, our values will stay the same.”

She says your tax amount depends on three things:

* Your property value
* Exemptions you qualify for
* Rates Adopted by individual taxing entities

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