Property values throughout Wharton County rose significantly over the last year, according to data released by the Central Appraisal District. The only loss was recorded by the Wharton school district.

The City of El Campo’s overall property values are up $75.4 million or 10 percent from last year from about $589.9 million to $655.2 million. In addition to that gain, there has been about $3.2 million in new development within the city limits.

The certified property values released by the Wharton County Central Appraisal District are used by the tax assessor-collector’s office to determine effective tax rates – the levy needed to bring in the same revenue as last year based on the same tax – for the county’s 22 taxing entities.

Generally, as property tax values go up, tax levies go down. However, this does not necessarily mean a homeowner would be paying less. With increased property values an individual homeowner’s bill could still wind up being more. For example: If a home is valued at $100,000, that homeowner would pay a $100 on a 10-cent levy. If the levy drops to 8 percent, the bill would, in theory, drop to $80. If the home value goes up to $125,000, however, the bill remains the same.

For the city, the increased values mean the effective tax rate drops from 63.218 cents to 57.387 cents.

“The City of El Campo is committed to providing fiscally responsible services. The proposed budget is built around the effective rate,” City Manager Courtney Sladek said, keeping dollars in line with expenditures in the last year.

Last year, El Campo saw a $6.3 million drop in values, largely based on pipe shipments, according to CAD Chief Tylene Gamble. That pulled the effective rate from 58.633 cents in fiscal year 2017-2018 to the current 63.218 cents.

Property tax levies account for about 33 percent of the revenue in El Campo’s General Fund. Sales tax rebates (a portion of the tax paid on items purchased within the city limits) generates the most revenue at about 45 percent. The rest is divided among franchise fees, permits, fines and other smaller sources.

Governmental entities range from Wharton County and the city of El Campo to the West Wharton County Hospital District and the emergency services district funding EMS protection then use both reports to help determine the tax rate set for the coming year.

Other Cities, County

The City of Wharton’s values jumped about $38 million from about $405 million to $442 million with about $2.2 million in new values.

Wharton County’s overall values leaped $287.9 million with $40.5 million in new taxable value. That’s in comparison to a $170 million loss last year.

The City of East Bernard also saw a roughly $22 million jump in values with $3.2 million in new development.

School Districts

El Campo ISD will see an almost $109 million or 8.4 percent gain in property values this tax season along with about $9.8 million in new taxable development.

In Louise, values are up about $13 million with about $5.4 million in new development.

Boling ISD property values are up $35 million, East Bernard $37.6 million and in Wharton ISD, values dipped around $2 million, although $13.8 million in new taxable development could offset the loss.

Wharton County Junior College’s taxing base rose $238 million from $3.92 billion to $4.16 billion. New taxable value of about $40.6 million was recorded by the CAD.

Other Districts To Note

ESD No. 1 (funding all eight volunteer fire departments in the county) rose from $3.9 billion to almost $4.1 billion while ESD No. 4 (funding EMS in West Wharton County) saw a gain as well from $1.57 billion in overall property values to $1.7 billion.

The West Wharton County Hospital District’s values fell from about $1.621 billion to $1.615 billion.

The Louise water district’s property values went up from $45.6 million to $49.4 million while the Isaacson Municipal Utility District’s values rose from $11.9 million to $12.2 million, according to CAD figures.

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