The city is proposing the creation of some new Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones (TIRZ).
Basically when the city creates a TIRZ they allow a special fund to be setup that takes the increase in property taxes that occurs over time and dedicates the increased money to projects within the boundaries of the TIRZ.
Out on the westside of El Paso there is a 3,900 acre area of land that is undeveloped. I believe that the city currently owns the land and as a result it generates no tax revenue.
If the city creates the TIRZ and then sells the land any increase in property tax revenue could be set aside to be spent on improving the land, the money would not go into the city general fund to help pay for city services.
From the Texas Tax Code chapter 31:
Sec. 311.005. CRITERIA FOR REINVESTMENT ZONE.
(a) To be designated as a reinvestment zone, an area must:
(1) substantially arrest or impair the sound growth of the municipality or county designating the zone, retard the provision of housing accommodations, or constitute an economic or social liability and be a menace to the public health, safety, morals, or welfare in its present condition and use because of the presence of:
(A) a substantial number of substandard, slum, deteriorated, or deteriorating structures;
(B) the predominance of defective or inadequate sidewalk or street layout;
(C) faulty lot layout in relation to size, adequacy, accessibility, or usefulness;
(D) unsanitary or unsafe conditions;
(E) the deterioration of site or other improvements;
(F) tax or special assessment delinquency exceeding the fair value of the land;
(G) defective or unusual conditions of title;
(H) conditions that endanger life or property by fire or other cause; or
(I) structures, other than single-family residential structures, less than 10 percent of the square footage of which has been used for commercial, industrial, or residential purposes during the preceding 12 years, if the municipality has a population of 100,000 or more;
(2) be predominantly open or undeveloped and, because of obsolete platting, deterioration of structures or site improvements, or other factors, substantially impair or arrest the sound growth of the municipality or county;
(3) be in a federally assisted new community located in the municipality or county or in an area immediately adjacent to a federally assisted new community; or
(4) be an area described in a petition requesting that the area be designated as a reinvestment zone, if the petition is submitted to the governing body of the municipality or county by the owners of property constituting at least 50 percent of the appraised value of the property in the area according to the most recent certified appraisal roll for the county in which the area is located.
The undeveloped land is not blighted.
This is simply a giveaway to the people who buy and develop the properties.
We deserve better