School district’s property valuation rises 8%

By CHRIS EVERSOLE
[email protected]

The valuation of property in the Yukon School District rose 8.11% in the latest assessment, while the Mustang School District assessment rose 9.98%.
The net assessed valuation is $457.6 million in the Yukon district and $538.9 million in the Mustang district.
The increases mean more money for schools, since 80% of all property taxes goes to support education, Canadian County Assessor Matt Wehmuller said.
“It’s exciting to see the growth in property values, both from appreciation and new construction here in Canadian County, which is the fastest growing county in Oklahoma and one of the fastest growing in the U.S.,” he said.
The increased valuation enabled Yukon Schools to raise more money from its bond sale Wednesday than it had anticipated, Superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth said.
The district paid for a three-classroom addition to Surrey Hills Elementary School with property taxes, and it is using bonds underwritten by property taxes, for the Redstone Intermediate School that is under construction.
The increased valuation is helping fund the replacements of the track and football field turf at Miller Stadium, Simeroth said.
“The increased valuation signals good things, including housing growth,” the superintendent said.
Part of the increase came from the portion of an OG&E Mustang Energy Center within the Yukon School District.
Two years ago, the power company began operating seven new gas-powered generators powered by Rolls Royce engines like those that power airliners.
The new turbines replaced an aging generating unit that was within the Mustang School District.
The Mustang Energy Center straddles the Mustang and Yukon school district.
The new generators are north of the old plant, with five of them in the Yukon district and only two of them in the Mustang district.
As a result, Yukon Schools benefit, and Mustang Schools lose revenue.
For Yukon Schools, the OG&E Mustang Power Plant valuation rose over the past two years from $5.1 million to $21.2 million, and property tax revenue increased from $609,000 to $2.5 million.
The OG&E Mustang Power Plant valuation for Mustang Schools dropped from $24.1 million to $14.4 million, and property tax revenue declined from $2.8 million to $1.7 million.
In addition to increase property tax revenue, state revenue that supports schools is up, including a 26.8% increase in the Gross Production Tax statewide from May of last year to May of this year, said Nancy McKay, the chief financial officer for Mustang Public Schools.

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