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