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This entry was posted on Saturday, April 7th, 2018 at 5:00 AM and is filed under City government, County Government. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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Our taxes are high because we do not have enough corporations paying taxes. We do not have corporations locating here because of our very low educational levels and poor language skills. Businesses — especially high tech — do not want to come here. Nor do they want to go to other border towns. (San Diego is not a border town, so don’t be bringing that up.) Blaming the ball park or the mayor or the 1% is all baloney.
The Mountainstar people said that if we spent millions for a new ballpark for their team, new businesses would want to locate here. That’s some of the same people who threatened to not build their new office building downtown unless they got more tax breaks than they were originally promised for the project.
In response to The Oracle and his question regarding the number of pawnshops. We are not even close. According to PawnGuru, the top cities, in order are: #1 =Houston, Miami, San Antonio, Ft. Lauderdale, Dallas and Jacksonville, FL. States with per capita pawn shops are: #1. Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Montana, W.Virginia, Tennessee, Wyoming, Oklahoma and Idaho at #10.
See a pattern here? They are for the most part Republican cities and states. According to the article posted at the top, there is no correlation between Red and Blue.
The correlation that does exist is the amount of poverty and low-skill, low paying jobs. How many high tech companies are in Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Wyoming, Oklahoma and Idaho, etc.? Top notch manufacturing such as a Boeing?
Unfortunately for the poorer parts of our population in the USA, we have more Pay Day Loan Lenders than McDonalds.
El Paso’s situation is common to border cities. The problem is: 1. Incredible Brain Drain of talent. 2. No real corporate jobs 3. Low skilled and/or poorly educated workforce. 3. No real industry or manufacturing. We are the same as Del Rio, Laredo, McAllen, Brownsville and Douglass, NM.
The problem is, that the labor that is available is exploited and the top 1% (think Foster, Hunt, De La Vega, etc) use the city/county as their cash cow for pet projects. We are running in the red for the Baseball Stadium. What happened to our becoming a “Destination City” once the ballpark was going to be built? a soccer stadium for the same group? Blowing up a perfectly functionable city hall?
It is bread and circus for the masses while the 1% are (trying) to pull the wool over the eyes of the denizens. Same as the EPISD school board. Hiring outside “consultants” for $1,500 per day? Hiring an attorney with no school experience with a benefits/total package of close to $400,000 per year? Who does that? The 1%’ers.
The more is more high tech in any of major cities in the states you mentioned than in El Paso. Case in point, in the mid-1980s 90% of the world’s PC supply was built in Arab, AL. Engineers from Georgia Tech, Alabama and Auburn were a large part of putting a man on the month. A huge number of companies in the states you mentioned supported the space program. And companies you’ve never heard of continue to manufacture high tech products. LG has factories in AL. So does Toyota, Chrysler and other automotive companies. Lockheed Martin and Boeing both have operations in Alabama and other SE states. Idaho and OK also have big tech clusters. The bottom line is that we are failing to attract business that is common place in the states you’ve mentioned. And while most those jobs may start out low paying they offer advancement. The factory I worked for in Alabama paid for my Master’s degree and offered the benefit to every full time employee. Our city leaders don’t understand manufacturing and as a result we are unlikely to get more of it.
the “problem” will always be some reason that taxes will always be double in democrat areas. meantime, new trolley and two new brio lines for people didn’t ask for them and the city tries to figure out how to give foster/hunt a new arena.
The corporate tax base is woefully inadequate and virtually non-existent so property owners pick up the huge amount of slack. That is on of the drawbacks to being a border city. City leaders who have no problem paying more taxes are completely out of touch with how the majority of El Pasoans live and continue placing their tax burdens upon us.
Brutus, thanks for the interesting, eye opening article.
Like I’ve posted before on Brutus’ blog, there is a way to at least ‘put a lid’ on the level of yearly local property tax increases, and here’s an online article you might check out:
texastribune.org article, “Going further than prior proposals, Abbott unveils a plan to slow Texas property tax growth,” BY BRANDON FORMBY AND PATRICK SVITEK, JAN. 16, 2018,10 AM, which states: “Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday unveiled a plan to limit annual local governments’ property tax revenue growth to 2.5 percent. To increase revenue beyond that, governments would need approval from two-thirds of voters.”
Seems like restricting the use of CO’s would go a long way to solve a lot of the problem. I think the original intent was for emergency and basics not to subsidize QOL bond projects.
I recently read the scope of the central pool that was approved in the QOL bond has now been redefined as a larger more expensive water park.
This is not what was approved by voters.
I think the “oracle” needs to shake his bones again, and take another look. The reality is that Democrats tend to favor more spending that helps other people, and that can indeed lead to a higher tax rate. El Paso’s problems are unique to El Paso, and I still maintain that they have little to do with Red/Blue or GOP/Dem. We do not finance a lot of what he seems to think of as “gimmes” (other than Sun Metro, perhaps) because we are on the hook for too many gew gaws, toys, and shiny things that have more to do with rich people than with the poor people who make up the majority of our population.
It was explained to me in one of my city hall duty tours that our problem is not enough private property to tax compared to similar cities. For example, Austin was twice the value of El Paso then though they are of similar size.
Maybe someone could verify this? The standard blame for this situation goes to NAFTA that supposedly moved our manufacturing base across the Rio.
Really, people should just stop bitching and accept that we are what we are, the American face of Mexico. Not Austin.
Once the general population starts the: Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, Gimme stuff, the City or County elects “leaders” (HA !), that will Give them, give them, give them . . and Tax them for all of the Gimme Programs.
The other thing is Impulse Buying, rather than Long Range Planning on what the County REALLY needs.
Buying NOW, Rather than when they can afford it, starts the ball rolling towards “More Financing” so they can Impulse Buy.
Someone is going to be paying long term for all of the financing.
If El Paso was not paying on “Everything being Financed”, they would not NEED so much Property Tax.
Wonder if there is a study that shows: How much Long Term Debt Blue Counties -vs- Red Counties ?
I dont think El Paso politicians (and the uneducated public at large) understand financing.
Can you see that with . . . thousands of Pawn Shops and Pay Day Loan places ?
Does El Paso have an ASTRONOMICALLY Large Percentage of Pawn Shops and Pay Day Loan businesses, compared to other cities, per resident ?
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