Charging us to use our own property

This slide from a city of Austin lawyer’s presentation to city council explains what franchise fees are all about:

El Paso is a home rule city.

City council is thinking about charging the city owned sanitation department a $4 per month franchise fee for each residential customer.

They want to charge us a fee to allow a city department to use streets that we already own.

This is a tax.

We deserve better

Brutus

22 Responses to Charging us to use our own property

  1. Anonymous says:

    If our city leaders want a little more respect, find a franchise fee loophole to take some money away from Mountain Star. Somehow our creative taxation never extends to our city’s donor class.

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    • Think About It says:

      They don’t have to find a loophole. They just need to apply the tax rules evenly and quit giving away millions in tax breaks to big money friends. The city gave $20 million in tax breaks to subsidize Hunt’s new downtown tower. The county then agreed to throw in even more. On one hand they want us to believe that these projects will increase the tax base, but then they give it away.

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      • good governance oxymoron says:

        Mr Hunt publicly stated that their studies showed it was not feasible for them to build the tower and that the subsidies were
        necessary.

        Clearly ignoring the obvious implications of “not feasible to build”, both the City and County governments approved subsidies and declared the tower as a symbol of renewal anyway.

        The absolute obtuseness of those elected to office has now reached the height of perfection

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        • Anonymous says:

          I would build a new house if I could get tax subsidies to cover 30% of the cost, but those same people would call that a welfare handout.

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    • citizen says:

      Without the people behind the ballpark, you would not have the medical school nor would you have the soon-to-open dental school. I cannot believe how people on this blog want to excoriate those who have money. Other cities have many more wealthy donors, we’re very lucky to have a few…but keep it up and they’ll move. I don’t know who you’ll bitch about then.

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      • Anonymous says:

        If they moved we’d spend a lot less tax money. Let’s not forget that both Hunt and Foster own construction companies. It might be interesting to see how much local work those companies are doing related to pubic projects.

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      • Give Me a Break says:

        Don’t try to make this a class warfare argument. I don’t care how much money they or anyone else has. What I don’t like though is people getting tax handouts for ballparks and office towers when taxpayers can’t get basic services like decent streets. We’re even subsidizing Mountainstar’s operations. If it was such a great investment, they would have built it themselves, but they want the flexibility to move the team without being stuck with the ballpark.

        Do a debit and credit ledger and see how the millions of dollars in gifts they’ve received at taxpayer expense stack up against the donations they’ve made to the med school and the like. If we’re supposed to be thankful for all they’ve given us, where’s the thanks taxpayers deserve for what we’ve given to them?

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      • Anonymous says:

        Real conservatives and believers in free market would say that if a business requires tax subsidies and taxpayer money to make it profitable, the business shouldn’t exist.

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      • Charles R. Dickerson says:

        Hell let them move.  That would take  huge TAX burden off  US “Stupid , ignorant, peons” , take away  the “Life support” for  corrupt El Taxo politicians.  They would then have to actually WORK for a living and REPRESENT the PEOPLE of El Taxo instead  of  big business, the idle rich, the people who  stuff their pockets with campaign “Donations”.  No more  buying  MULTI-MILLION$$$   businesses for RICH people and forcing TAXPAYERS to pay for it.

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      • just for shits and grins says:

        Im more ok with Foster getting an incentive than Hunt. Foster bought that building from hell downtown without subsidies and donated a med school for what 50 million. Now when he built the mall I think that would equate to around 25 mill back in incentives. Now the baseball park is still not paying for itself so i dont know how to equate that. However, Hunt has donated but it would be nice for someone to add up how much he has donated and hoe much he has received in incentives. I would bet Hunt is way ahead. When does donating become bartering ? Ask yourselves that.

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    • Linda H says:

      Mountain Star has yet to make a dime. You cannot tax a negative figure.

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      • just for shits and grins says:

        Have you seen the Financial ? Salaries to Josh Hunt and Bibi de la Vega Foster would be income to them personally and an expense to the Corp if they are on the payroll. I would consider that Income. its easy to cut bonuses at the end and show no income in a C Corp.

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        • Anonymous says:

          “Mountain Star has not made a dime”?? So where has all the MONEY gone? Maybe it all has gone to El Taxo politicians who lied, deceived, FORCED the taxpayers to buy them and MSS the ball field and the MONEY is still going to pay offs, kick backs, campaign “Donations”.?? It’s the TAXPAYERS of El Taxo who have not, will never see a dime return on this con job and will be paying for this scam for many years to come..

          Like

  2. Think About It says:

    Everyone seems to be missing the real point of this slide. Your city management and representatives would like to just give assets (including land) to certain individuals and special interests free of charge. The purpose of this slide is to say “we can’t technically give our friends those assets for free, but here is a way around that……we can just charge them a fee.” There’s not even a legal requirement that the fee be more than a token amount. The city manager and council reps are spending their time trying to find loopholes that will enable them to give away our stuff so that their friends can make more money.

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly. Their friends, “Donors”, the idle rich of El Taxo, just money in the bank, campaign “Donations”, back pockets. And it’s always the people who suffer through their greed, waste, corruption and wait for the NEXT tax INCREASE.

      Like

      • Linda H says:

        There is not such thing as “the idle rich of El Paso.” The reason the few are rich is because they worked hard. El Paso does not have a contingent of wealth people who inherited their money.

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        • Anonymous says:

          They’re definitely not idle. They’re always working hard on how to get tax dollars for their public/private “partnerships” and avoid paying taxes that others pay. But don’t pretend that none of them inherited money or businesses.

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  3. Helen Marshall says:

    sorry but how exactly do you think the city is GIVING everything without cost to THOUSANDS of people who don’t pay for anythng???? Considering your slam about sanctuary cities I can probably guess…and somehow this is connected to a franchise fee?

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    • Anonymous says:

      It’s a TAX, just another El Taxo TAX. Just like the years-old “Rain-falling-off-the- roof -TAX . Where does that TAX go, what is it used for? The Retirement Fund at the Water District? And exactly WHO do you think pays for all the FREE stuff? The schools, medical care, Welfare, housing for all the 100,000 PLUS Illegals that live here? Maybe it’s the politicians that support the sanctuary city, open borders, just taking all the MONEY out of their OWN pockets? El Taxo is broke, bankrupt, BILLIONS$$$$ in debt and everything the politicians WANT, depends upon every penny, nickel, dime. ounce of blood THEY can squeeze out of US.

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    • John Dungan says:

      Helen, do you have any factual evidence of those “THOUSANDS” of people who don’t pay for anything? Or, are you making the same mistaken assumption that so many others make that just because someone doesn’t have a mortgage, they don’t pay their fair share of taxes? Please let me remind you that renters also pay sales taxes, license and registration fees, and all those other things that we are all taxed on.

      Like

      • Anonymous says:

        The reality is a lot of folks use our border as a way to avoid taxes. Folks with a Juarez residence can avoid sales tax by filing for refunds (even if they also have an address over here). The malls even advertise offices that will process those refunds right there. The former Mayor of Juarez was getting a homestead exemption after he was elected mayor of Juarez (although once the news reported that changed). Folks who live in Juarez use their US relatives’ addresses to send their kids to our public schools. Look at UMC’s write offs and you’ll see free medical care. I remember seeing a news story a few years ago about a Juarez couple complaining when UMC was pushing them to make payment arrangements for their sick child. The folks over at UMC were vilified for the heartlessness of that. Folks with Juarez plates don’t get tickets from cameras and their is no way to prosecute them if they don’t pay a ticket written by a police officer. If one hits you, they just drive off. If I drive in Juarez and have an accident, I risk arrest and losing my car if I don’t carry Mexican insurance on top of my US insurance. We don’t enforce our laws nearly as harshly as Juarez does.

        Like

  4. Anonymous says:

    The city of El Taxo is broke, busted, bankrupt. The Mayor, City Council, Commissioners have to beg, borrow, steal every dime THEY can get from US for all the “Stuff” THEY WANT. Waste, tax, spend, tax some MORE. Just like all the other down and out, torn down sanctuary cities, supporting THOUSANDS of people that don’t pay TAXES, pay for anything and are GIVEN everything without cost. The TAXPAYERS, working people who can barely provide for their own families here, provide all the “Free: stuff. It never ends. Chicago, California, Oregon, Washington, Baltimore, New York, etc,etc

    Like

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