circle crossIf beautiful finishes, plenty of space and easy access to the highway (but not the noise that usually means) are what you’ve been looking for, this home on Circle Cross Road in Odessa may just be the thing for you.

The five-bedroom, three-and-a-half bath home on 7020 Circle Cross Road is 3,318 square feet of space for a growing family, complete with an open floor plan that allows for fun entertaining, too. (more…)

Ector County Commissioners voted Tuesday to raise the property tax rate by 6.5 percent. (Photo courtesy 401Kcalculator.org)

Midland and Odessa folks gave generously to Hurricane Harvey relief, Ector County ISD has a plan to improve struggling schools, and Ector County commissioners approved a property tax increase in this week’s news roundup. (more…)

Harvey

A Texas National Guardsman shakes hands with a resident after assisting his family during Hurricane Harvey flooding in Houston, Texas, Aug. 27, 2017 (Army National Guard photo by Lt. Zachary West).

How will Hurricane Harvey impact Texas long term – and what are people doing now to assist with the most pressing needs? We’ll look at these questions in this week’s news roundup. (more…)

property tax

Photo courtesy 401kcalculator.org and Flickr.

Midland and Odessa ponder property tax rate increases, Odessa police warn about a phone scam, and Midland ISD will be sending a giant chunk of change to the state next year, in this week’s news roundup.

If a Tree Falls …
Midland city officials threw a public hearing, and nearly nobody came.

The Midland Reporter Telegram reports that a hearing regarding the proposed city tax rate for the upcoming fiscal year was planned for the evening so that more citizens would be able to attend, but it wasn’t attended any better than previous meetings held during the day.

The city held three public hearings, and only two people spoke cumulatively at those hearings.

The proposed tax rate is $0.408389 per $100 valuation – an increase from the current effective The general fund budget for the next fiscal year is $111.8 million, an increase of $5.361 million.

Meanwhile, Odessa is mulling over its first tax rate increase in 15 years.

The Odessa American reports that while the city council has not made any changes yet to the proposed $86.6 million general fund budget, or voted on a property tax rate, the measure was supported by three councilmen and Mayor David Turner.

The Odessa Board of Realtors argues that homeowners and tenants would be adversely affected by a combination of property tax increases – city and school – as well as a potential school bond election and increased insurance rates.

The proposed property tax rate is about 49.3 cents per $100 valuation – an increase of around $43 per fiscal year for someone with a $150,000 home, the newspaper said. The proposed general fund budget for the next fiscal year increases spending by about 3.3 percent over last year.

A public hearing is scheduled for Sept. 12, and the final vote on the tax rate is slated for Sept. 26.

Community Development Scam Hitting Odessa Residents
Odessa police said several residents have called after receiving phone calls from someone claiming to be awarding community development funds.

NewsWest 9 reports that one victim said she received a phone call from someone who said his name was Patrick Elliott, who said she won an award from the Community Development Organization. The call came from a Chicago area code. She was then told to receive the funds, she would need to wire $500 to a Debra White in Guntersville, Ala.

OPD recommends that anyone receiving a call from someone with Community Development Organization not send any money, or provide personal information. If there are more victims or near victims, they are encouraged to call Odessa police.

Midland ISD Could Give Up $61M to Recapture
Midland ISD found that it will be sending a recapture payment to the state to the tune of $61 million during the 2018-2019 school year, the Midland Reporter Telegram reports.

The figure represents a nearly $20 million increase from the 2017-2018 payment of $42.138 million.

Recapture is part of the long-detested Robin Hood system of school funding in Texas. Recapture payments are collected from districts with bigger property tax revenues and distributed to districts with lower revenues.

More than 400 districts are subject to recapture, and collectively they send more than $1.5 billion back to the state for distribution.

Midland’s recapture payment next year will account for almost 28 percent of the district’s revenues. The district expects to be at a deficit in 2018-2019, largely because of the payment. The excess will be covered by the district’s $43.4 million fund balance.

 

bungalow

This week’s Odessa under $150,000 is a cute, well-renovated bungalow with a monthly mortgage that is cheaper than rent.

This week’s Odessa under $150,000 is a cute, well-renovated 1950s bungalow that comes with the potential to have a mortgage payment that is less than what most first-time homebuyers are paying in rent.

The home at 4612 North Jackson Ave. is a 1,036-square-feet, three-bedroom, one-bath home with a huge backyard. It is listed by Jesus Vazquez with Midessa Real Estate.

It is listed for $109,900, which means that for most people the mortgage payment will be less than the average median rent of $1,100 for a two-bedroom apartment. (more…)

MidlandIn this week’s news roundup, we talk Midland ISD property taxes, Ector ISD’s TEA improvement and a change in leadership with the West Odessa Volunteer Fire Department.

Midland ISD’s 2016 Tax Rate Decrease Comes Back to Haunt Budget

A decision to lower the rate on a portion of its property tax last year now has the Midland ISD Board of Trustees back at almost square one. (more…)