By Wyatt Goolsby
STANTON - School officals in Stanton are calling it a "necessary evil" after hearing they may have to give taxpayer dollars back to the State. The booming West Texas economy has raised values so much, the school district is now considered property wealthy. On Tuesday, residents voted on what happens next.
The playground at Stanton Elementary may not look anything like Sherwood Forest, and Superintendent David Carr wouldn't call himself a king. But soon Stanton I.S.D. will have to act as Robin Hood after T.E.A. officals gave them a new wealthy status.
"So basically, they are saying you get X amount of money to run your school district. Anything above and beyond that is going to go to help someone else," Carr explained.
However, Stanton schools at this point are just barely considered property weathly.
"The poorest of the rich, that would be us," Carr exclaimed. "I would guess we're the Cinderella of the rich. Not that there's a glass slipper out there, but fortunately we probably aren't going to be hit with a recapture this year."
It's something to consider though. Oil and gas in Stanton is huge, nearly 85 percent of taxable values.
As big as oil is in West Texas, it's also wind power that's making property values go up. In Stanton, nearly tens of millions of dollars have already been added in taxable value. As wind turbines continue to go up, so does the amount of money the school brings in.
"I expect with the values going the way they are going that we will get hit with a recapture," Carr said. "But we're not like the Andrews and Crane's of the world who get hit by the millions. They send millions you know. That's gotta hurt."
Stanton residents voted on what some call the lesser of two evils Tuesday to send extra tax dollars back to the State.
"They've been very good to trust us and let us do what we think's in their best interest," Carr added.