By Mason W. Canales
Killeen Daily Herald
Property tax appraisals increased for Killeen, Harker Heights and Copperas Cove from 2011 to 2012.
Copperas Cove saw a 2.44 percent increase in the value of taxable properties, according to documents from the Central Coryell County Appraisal District that show about $25 million worth of additional property in the city.
The Copperas Cove Independent School District saw a similar increase of almost 2.9 percent or about $31 million.
Killeen saw the second-highest increase among the three cities with a 1.8 percent or about $86 million increase in taxable property, according to information from the Bell County Appraisal District.
"This is great news for us, because it potentiality means there will be more revenue next year," said Hilary Shine, spokeswoman for the city.
Increases in taxable property confirm the growth in the city, said Shine. It shows people are investing in the Killeen area.
The property value increase means taxing entities that keep the same tax rate in 2012 as 2011 likely will bring in more money this year. City or school districts could also opt to lower their tax rates slightly this year so revenue would stay equal to the amount collected in 2011.
In Bell County, the number of people paying higher taxes this year may be few.
Bell County as a whole saw about a $350 million increase in property values because of new construction while "very few are still gaining value," said Marvin Hahn, chief appraiser for the Bell County Appraisal District.
The increases in Bell County were about 2 percent when averaged, said Hahn, which is good in this economy.
"It shows that our values of real estate are holding their own and the growth is still there ... even though it is very moderate compared to what we used to have," he said.
The Killeen Independent School District saw an increase similar to Killeen with almost a 1.9 percent or about $119 million increase in taxable property.
Harker Heights lagged behind the other two cities with only a 0.57 percent or $8 million increase in taxable property. However, its total property values are about $1.4 billion compared to Copperas Cove's $1.07 billion.
"(The values) are staying consistent," said Alberta Barrett, Harker Heights finance director. "It is not adding a whole lot there but every little bit helps, and it is consistent."
Barrett said having a slight increase makes it easier for cities to continue programs.
"Everything we are doing can continue ahead," she said.
Contact Mason W. Canales at email@example.com or (254) 501-7474. Follow him on Twitter at KDHCoveEditor.
Certified property appraisals in 2012
Bell County: $13,996,624,337
Bell County Road: $14,039,077,125
Clear Water Underground district: $14,196,883,932
Central Texas College: $6,867,512,093
Copperas Cove ISD: $76,822,725
Killeen ISD: $6,435,661,818
Salado ISD: $657,489,594
City of Harker Heights: $1,404,127,978
City of Killeen: $4,818,504,794
City of Nolanvillle: $150,200,373
Village of Salado: $208,868,020
Coryell County: $1,930,884,525
City of Copperas Cove: $1,067,795,902
Copperas Cove ISD: $1,131,439,776
Central Texas College: $1,222,599,320
Source: Central Coryell County and Bell County appraisal districts