Don’t shift the burden, lower it

Evidently the other day as our city manager proposed next year’s budget he said that out of 125,577 homes in El Paso 45,509 are eligible for a senior citizen or disabled homestead discount.

By my reckoning that comes to 36.2%.  Our city is now giving a $40,000 reduction in assessed property value to those eligible.  This does not cap the property tax the senior has to pay.  Instead it reduces the value used to compute the tax.  The formula is:  take the assessed value and subtract the exemption–call that the taxable value–multiply the taxable value by the tax rate giving the tax owed.

On the other hand seniors have their amount of tax owed frozen for purposes of school district taxes.  That means that means their tax bills do not go up regardless of the rate.

School district taxes account for almost 50% of our local tax rate here in El Paso.  The taxes the city assesses are about 25% of our total bill.

Shouldn’t we take this into account as we consider public debt?  How can we expect young people to stay here when we are asking them to pay these bills?

It seems to me that if we spent less our tax bills could be lower.

We deserve better

Brutus

 

10 Responses to Don’t shift the burden, lower it

  1. Anonymous says:

    I have lived in El Paso over 45 years, and I am 68 years old and considering retirement within the next few years. As I see the massive debt service that our previous mayor, city manager, and council saddled our taxpayers with, I am seriously considering a move to a more senior-friendly community. Originally I came to El Paso to do a graduate degree at UTEP, then spent several years in the Army at Fort Bliss. I have been a businessman in El Paso for 38 years and have amassed numerous friends in the El Paso area, but the actions relating to the former City Hall and the new ballpark showed me that this community’s leadership was completely irresponsible to its citizens. I have served on various city and county boards, and found that service rewarding when more reasonable, business-savvy individuals served as Mayor and Council members. Our current Mayor shares my opinion, but he is saddled with a city council that hasn’t learned lessons from the previous council’s misdeeds. I have loved the people of El Paso thru the years, and I am deeply saddened that our city fathers have been so short-sighted in recent years, thus causing me to consider bailing from El Paso. I fear that within the next 7-10 years, our community will be another casualty in American cities who have gone bankrupt.

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  2. taxpayer says:

    “take the assessed value and subtract the exemption…”
    What’s the exemption????

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  3. Haiduc says:

    THANKS..iiCANNOT WAIT TO TURN 65! or will they raise the age?

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    • homeowner777 says:

      Once they figure out we are living longer, they might try that.
      The under age 40 wont bother to go to City Hall and complain so this may put a little Hush-Money towards the Senior Group.
      Either way . . . El Paso property taxes are DOUBLE that of Las Vegas. . . where there is no end to “Things to Do” and “Places to Go”.
      Also about twice that of Dallas and Houston.

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  4. synical hipster doosh says:

    That was part of the shell game the City used to get seniors to support the QoL bond proposal., because seniors are proportionally better voters.

    What’s the problem? It’s only like a meal a week.

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  5. Marker585 says:

    This comment posted by Marker585 on MotleyFool.com last year sums it up.

    “…. When I retired several years ago I looked at retiring to El Paso but once I saw the property tax rates I moved to New Mexico instead. Sure, they have an income tax but very low property taxes. I pay less in total taxes, which is what really needs to be measured.”

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  6. Reality Checker says:

    This is just more delusional thinking from city council and city management who love playing shell games with taxes. If they think that this is going to make El Paso more attractive to retirees, they are sadly mistaken. Property taxes will still be exponentially higher than most retirees want to pay, especially when there are plenty of more affordable places with higher quality of life.

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