Luminant values boost RISD, county rolls for 2010 tax year

An increase in taxable value for Luminant’s Sandow 4 and 5 power plants more than offset continued losses from the shutdown of Alcoa’s smelter during the past year.

That ’s t he word f rom Pat Moraw, Milam County Appraisal District (MCAD) chief appraiser, who said the Rockdale ISD and Milam County benefitted from Luminant values.

Preliminar y va lues in t he Rockdale ISD were put at $1,056,901,524, an increase of 4.8 percent from the 2009 certified values of $1,008,324,888, she said.

County-wide the increase was 3.2 percent, from $1,711,224,872 to $1,766,480,229, she said.

Market value

Moraw put the county’s preliminary market value (not taxable value) at $2,932,541,473, up 3.3 percent from $2,838,125,923 last year.

Moraw noted that the figures released this week are preliminary. “They should be viewed as starting points,” she said. Taxing units can expect a decrease in value during the appeal process,” she said.

She said new homes and commercial properties built in 2009 helped reduce the value loss of some taxing units.

“Every property is unique but overall there should not be a value increase of properties that have not been substantially changed from 2009 to 2010.

Softening market She said even though the market may be softening in Milam County, with homes staying on the market for a longer period of time, reported sales of residential properties indicate 2009 values “are comparable with market values.”

“The 2009 certified appraised values were less than 100 percent of market values in most classes of houses,” she said.

She said the MCAD received only 25 percent of the usual number of reported sales.

“That contributed to an 80 percent decrease in overall transactions.

“The lack of reported sales has always presented a problem when it comes to appraising property for ad valorem taxation,” she said.

“Property owners are the only source of sales the MCAD has. Local realtors represent their clients, so the responsibility remains with purchasers and sellers.

Ag values drop

Moraw said one category loss that has affected all tax units is the reduction in agriculture values.

“This was a major reduction due to the number of acres receiving this special valuation,” she said.

“The formula outlines in the Property Tax Code to determine values includes production for the years 2004-08 to calculate 2010 value.

“Another major loss to all tax units was the new Disabled Veterans Homestead exemption.

“The new exemption is a total (zero) exemption, meaning there is no taxable amount for any tax unit, whereas homestead and over 65 exemptions are limited and have a taxable value remaining.

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