County sees single-digit decline in preliminary values
With the decline in oil and gas prices, Jack County is looking at a drop in property values, but preliminary values show, Jack County has fared better than others.
Early predictions show a decrease in values for all but one of the taxing entities in the county.
For county government, the prediction is a 6 percent drop.
“The key word is preliminary,” said County Judge Mitchell Davenport. “They could go up or down by the time the end of July comes around and they are certified.”
He said the county commissioners and department heads are concerned, but realizes 6 percent is not as bad as it could be.
Davenport performed a small straw survey among other county judges in the state including some counties of similar size and with similar oil and gas activity.
“Most of those counties that answered are in double digits (percentage decrease) and ours are single digits,” he said. “I have a theory. Our values have been going up for years not only because of oil and gas, but the values of the abated properties have been going up for years and have been added in annual increments to our tax rolls for the last several years. There’s one or two of those that have been on our rolls at least for the last year at 100 percent and we’ll have some come on our rolls this year. A drop in value is not good. I think our drop in value would be much greater if we had not developed.”
Davenport is referring to the addition of wind farms, underground gas storage and the power plant near Joplin. Those developments add considerable value to the county’s property tax base.
In Davenport’s survey, Garza County where Post is located, experienced a 30 percent drop in values this year and a 38 percent decrease the year before. Kent County saw 81 percent over two years, Howard and Terry counties 55 percent, Stonewall 57 and Irion 50 percent for this year alone.
“How do you lose 70 percent of your tax roll value and survive?” Davenport asked. “They’ve really been hit.”
To read the complete article, see the June 3 edition of the Herald-Gazette.