Over-valued appraisals by CAD lead to losses for EPISD

Over inflated appraisals by CAD leads to losses for EPISD

EL PASO, Texas - An over-valued worth of a company by the Central Appraisal district means a loss in millions of dollars for several taxing entities in El Paso.

The CAD raised the value of Western Refining by more than 150 percent at a value of 780-million dollars.

Western Refining challenged the appraisal and ended settling a lawsuit with the property valued at $320 million.

Now EPISD is out millions of dollars in tax revenue.

The settlement between the CAD and Western Refining has put several entities, including the city of El Paso and El Paso Community College at a loss.

But EPISD takes the biggest hit, with a loss of $5.3 million. The question is if it can afford such a loss.

"We have to appraise at market value, with the information that we had available, the information that we had available indicated that's what the market value was," said executive director Dinah Kilgore of the Central Appraisal District.

She  tells ABC-7 the initial appraisal of $780 million dollars for Western Refining was based off public information and other refineries in the state.

But the Central Appraisal district had an idea Western Refinery would not accept the appraised value and that there could be consequences.

"We also met with all of the entities involved back last July before we certified and told them look this is the value we are certifying there's a big possibility that they will file a lawsuit," said Kilgore.

The entities involved were the city of El Paso, El Paso county, El Paso Community College and EPISD.

The entities would be seeing loses in the budget right before the end of the fiscal year. EPISD would be seeing a loss in revenue of $5.3 million.

ABC-7 got in contact with EPISD spokesperson Rene De Santos who sent us this statement:

 "The district has not seen the settlement. Although we expect the figure to be more than several million dollars, we cannot give an exact dollar figure that we would need to pay back."

De Santos refers to paying back Western Refining after the settlement.

The refinery's value went from $780 million to $320 million, a difference of over $450 million.

ABC-7 asked De Santos if the district would feel the pinch in its pocket.

"We also expect to recover a good portion of this money next year through state revenue, which will increase to compensate for the reduction in revenue we receive from local taxes," said De Santos in the written statement.

De Santos goes on to tell us this isn't the first time they've had to deal with this. This is the third time there has been a settlement.

The first time Western refining deducted the overage from the following year's payment.

As for this year, EPISD will not know until they get the settlement and a letter from Western Refining telling EPISD how they would like to be paid for those back taxes.


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