Crane County Elections Impacting Other States, Countries - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: |

Crane County Elections Impacting Other States, Countries

By: Julia Deng

NewsWest 9

CRANE - Crane County has a population of just under 5,000 but what their voters decide this Election Day will affect people nationwide and in other countries.

"The bonds that we're voting on are important to anybody that has any kind of oil royalty rights," said Hestan Hall, the Crane County tax assessor and voter registrar.

"It's not just people here in Crane [who own those rights]. It's all over the world. People from Canada, Mexico."

They're all required to pay taxes on the property they own in Crane County.

If voters approve the $40 million water bond, the $5 million Crane Independent School District bond or the school tax rollback currently on the table, these oil royalty rights holders will be paying more than they already do.

"They send in multi-million dollar checks each year," said Hall. "And the biggest part of that [comes from] school taxes."

The Crane ISD "rollback election" has voters deciding whether or not to go ahead with a $0.02 increase on every $100.00 of school district taxes.

Unlike the $40 million water bond and the $5 million school bond - which, if passed, are both set to take effect in 2015 - the rollback increase would kick in this year.

Hall described the state-approved tax hike as "the golden two cents" and told NewsWest 9 he would be "very surprised" if Crane County voters shoot it down.

"I think it's going to pass tomorrow. People will complain [about paying more in taxes], but anything that has to do with the school, people will typically say yes to."

He also expects the proposed $5 million Crane school bond to pass. It would cover new school buses, upgraded classroom equipment and possibly new school buildings.

Hall said it's the $40 million county bond - proposed to cover new water lines and wells - that voters "feel iffy about."

"I can't predict what's going to happen [on Election Day], but I've kind of heard a 50/50 [split opinion] from people [in Crane County]."

Early turnout results obtained by NewsWest 9 show 410 people have already cast their ballots.

Election Day 2014 is Tuesday, November 4.

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