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Marfa School Superintendent, Tax Experts, Discuss How Trans-Pecos Pipeline Would Be Valued

A map of intrastate pipelines in Texas. Opponents say the Trans-Pecos Pipeline would amount to a de-facto international project. (U.S. Energy Information Administration)

Property taxes have been a hot-button issue in Presidio Country for several years as home values in Marfa have risen. Taxable entities, such as county government and the school districts, are affected by these swings. Monday night, the Marfa School District held an informational workshop on the Property Value Study. It was led by Carla Pope-Osborne, an Austin-based lawyer working on property tax appeals.

Earlier this summer, superintendent Andy Peters met with officials from Energy Transfer, a Dallas-based company planning the Trans Pecos Pipeline that would pass through the district on its path of carrying natural gas from producers in the Permian Basin to consumers in Mexico.

"I really thought those were more fixed costs," said Peters.

Back in June, company officials told him that Presidio County tax entities – the schools, the county, the hospital district - could earn a combined total of $1.9 million in ad valorem taxes annually from the project. But what surprised him most at last night workshop, was how these taxes would change a few years down the road.

Pope-Osborne explained how pipelines are taxed in Texas, and how considerations are made on the price of gas and how much gas the pipeline would be carrying in the future.

Former KRTS/KXWT News Director