Paying our debts

City staff made a presentation the other day where they explained that the money the city spends to service it’s debt amounts to one third of the property taxes it collects.

Actually, the situation is worse–much worse.


This page from the city’s 2014 comprehensive annual financial report shows that the city collected $73.8 million in property taxes in fiscal year 2014.  The numbers are in the “Actual Amounts” column.

It also shows that we paid out $84.6 million in interest and principal payments.

We deserve better


8 Responses to Paying our debts

  1. I hate to be an “I told you so,” but guess what?


  2. MEPT says:

    And just savor this: in addition to Joyce’s disastrous and dubious financial projections (and Niland and the other clowns now allow her to slither her way back into city affairs????), her partner-in-dubious finance, Carmen “Fuzzy Math” Candelaria has now spearheaded spending sprees at EPISD also. I hope they have some fat offshore account in some secrecy haven under some shell corporation to have made the selling of this city worth it!


  3. Haiduc says:

    The people Elect and the Elected spend….more than is taken in.

    “It is all good”


  4. Helen Marshall says:

    Including interest on the three Signature QoL projects that will not be built. I hope Joyce can explain to everyone on the Charter Advisory Board how to keep people like her from wrecking city finances again!


  5. Reality Checker says:

    Warning! Don’t try that at home.


  6. Jerry Kurtyka says:

    I wonder how much parking revenue Woody World skims off the top?


    • Reality Checker says:

      If all the downtown redevelopment and the ballpark are truly attracting more people to downtown, wouldn’t you think that parking revenue would be up rather than down? Is the shortfall a result of the city turning over prime on-street parking to Mountainstar for the ballpark and to Foster for his restaurant. As you point out, the city also gave Mountainstar the vast majority of other gameday parking revenue in city-owned parking facilities, but we get to pay for the labor to collect their money.

      Here is what the Times said about the ballpark parking deal:

      “In a 5-2 vote, the council approved designating a 45-space reserved parking zone near the ballpark for use by MountainStar Sports Group. The spaces are part of the city’s contractual agreement to provide the team owners with about 500 parking spaces, including along nearby streets and in the city-owned civic center and Union Plaza garages.”

      500 spaces on 80 gamedays at only $5 a spot is $200,000, which just happens to be the amount of the parking shortfall shown in the chart Brutus posted.

      That $200,000 parking shortfall is also part of the $3.5 million shortfall that city council insisted on making up with an indirect tax in the form of an increased water utility fee.

      How many spaces have also been sold to hotel developers and others at deep discounts? The next budget review will probably show a further decline in parking revenue. If downtown traffic increases, it’s the private “partners” who are going to reap the financial rewards even for parking in the facilities we own.

      City council is shoveling money out the back door to those who fund their campaigns. Big campaign contributions buy votes. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.


      • Sad El Pasoan says:

        I am not very optimistic about the future of our City. I do not believe the ballpark is going to survive our poor economy. MountainStar gave away a lot of tickets to keep the ballpark at full capacity the first year. City council needs to prepare a demographic study and realize that the private partners can bankrupt our City.


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