Oil pipeline a big boon for area taxpayers



August 26, 2015 - 12:00 AM

The financial impact of having Enbridge, Inc., build a pipeline to carry oil through Allen County is being felt in positive ways by local governing bodies.
The pipeline and its mammoth pumping station southeast of Humboldt, along with increases in other utilities, bumped up countywide valuation by more than $45 million.
The taxable windfall means the county’s overall ad valorem tax levy will drop by more than 2 mills to 65.86, better than 5 mills less than in 2014. Commissioners included a capital outlay line item in its general fund of about $2.5 million.
“It will allow us to do some projects next year that we’ve been putting off,” Commissioner Jerry Daniels told Iolan Jack Franklin, who dropped by minutes after Tuesday’s meeting was adjourned.
As it stands, the county’s assessed valuation for 2016 is $141,103,219.
State-assessed valuation totaled $62.5 million, with Enbridge’s recently constructed Flanagan South pipeline and pumping station accounting for $39.2 million; its Spearhead pipeline, built in the 1950s farther to the east, was assessed at $24,000. Earlier there was consideration of upgrading Enbridge’s Spearhead pipeline, but with significant decreases in the price of oil — it was just over $39 this morning — that apparently has been shelved for the time being, said Daniels, who worked in security for Enbridge during its construction.
Allen Community College will benefit the same as the county, since both have the same taxing boundaries. With its budget figured in July on valuation of $100 million, the college’s budget may be expected to decrease roughly 5.5 mills from the published levy of 18.755.
The county’s three school districts also were affected, with Humboldt’s USD 258 valuation nearly doubling from $27.4 million to $54.5 million.
USD 256 (Moran-Elsmore) did about as well, going from $17.3 million to $33.5 million. But, USD 257 (Iola), being on the edge of property involving Enbridge, had an increase of only about $1.5 million, from $49.9 million to $51.6 million.
Disregarding the 20-mill assessment made statewide for all districts, USD 256’s levy for local option budget and bond and interest funds went down by more than 14 mills, from 30.058 to 16.781; USD 257’s for local option budget and capital outlay dropped by about 1 mill, to 28.222.
USD 258 has yet to refigure its levy. However, the percentage of increase in valuation should result in a decrease in the mill levy.

FOR perspective, a levy of 1 mill raises $1 for each $1,000 of assessed valuation. Consequently, a home with appraised market value of $100,000 has an assessed valuation of $11,500, which means each mill of taxation is $11.50.
Looking deeper into assessments shows real estate in the county has assessed valuation for 2016 taxing purposes of $67.544 million; personal property, $8.449 million; oil and gas, $2.6 million; new improvements, $480,842.

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