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COTA Tax Protest Still Far From a Finish Line

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Scott Tucker/Flickr
Circuit of the Americas has contested its Travis County tax evaluation and, while that case is ongoing, the tax revenue can't be distributed to Travis County, or Del Valle ISD.

Formula One at Circuit of the Americas, or COTA, has now wrapped up. But one thing that still has yet to conclude: a lawsuit COTA filed against the Travis County Appraisal District in 2013.

A COTA spokesperson says the suit is a simple matter of differing opinions. COTA’s original tax bill for 2013 and 2014 is just under $14.5 million and, so far, they’ve paid about $5 million. They’re contesting the other $9 million the appraisal district says they owe. So, while that remainder of COTA’s contested tax bill is stuck in court, the entirety of the taxes aren’t being paid to local taxing districts.

“Well, schools are certainly heavily dependent on property taxes,” says Bruce Elfant, the Travis County Tax Assessor-Collector in this case. “All school districts are. They certainly want to maximize what revenue comes in.”

In this case, that school district is the Del Valle Independent School District. If the court rules in favor of the appraisal district, the bulk of COTA’s outstanding tax bill - about $5 million - would go to Del Valle ISD.

“If the court rules completely in favor of COTA, then there would be no $5 million and if they rule in between somewhere then there would be whatever that amount is that would go to Del Valle,” Elfant says.

It’s unclear when the lawsuit will be decided.

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