Simple numbers

Next year’s city budget comes in at $989 million.

Last year’s came to $896 million.

That works out to a 10% increase.

Did our population grow 10% last year?

2% is probably a realistic number.

How does the city budget grow?  It all comes down to taxes and fees.

We should all know who pays those.

Why are they spending 10% more money when we have only grown about 2%?

We deserve better

Brutus

 

12 Responses to Simple numbers

  1. JerryK says:

    This issue of increasing costs without corresponding increase in quality, service or both is not limited to city government. Obviously, we are not getting 10% more for our tax dollar; we’re lucky if they don’t cut services. Healthcare costs have doubled in the last 20 years but we are not 2X healthier. College costs have increased yet grads are less informed and literate than 50 years ago.

    Ask yourself why. A good perspective on this is at Zero Hedge where pseudonym author Tyler Durden explains the neo-feudal economy we are now in.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-08-27/understand-americas-neofeudal-economy-start-extortion

    In the case of El Paso, the “commons” of the tax base and city assets and services have been increasingly sequestered for the benefit of a few influential political donors with lots of help from elected reps and compromised city officials. The QoL arena is a good example of this intended to be home court for another Mountainstar team, unbeknownst to the voters until it was a done deal. The same story is repeated at different levels of scale here, e.g., the privatization of the Children’s Museum in which will take key decisions out of the hands of the public and rest it in a few donor class individuals and their collective pimps to dispense public dollars to builders, architects, etc. without public oversight.

    There is no solution to this issue other than citizen activism that the media vilifies as “populism.” That is, “How dare you question our decision to take your public wealth and give it to our friends.” El Paso is 25 years away from that kind of citizen involvement that is solely a function of the general level of educational attainment.

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    • Mike Schwartz says:

      Jerry- you said it roundabout but nicely. Let’s put it in harsh terms-most El Pasoans have neither the education nor the literacy to understand what is going on. This ignorance is a direct result of failing school systems over the last 25 years. We all what happens when the baseball attendance drops to the hundreds per game, when the arena attendance is severely lacking, when the parks aren’t generating revenue- taxes rise again. Whether it be in the guise of franchise fees or blatant taxes, they will pile upon until the average homeowner is paying more in taxes than principal on his home. I say homeowner because the large businesses seem exempt. Vote in the Libertarians.

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      • JerryK says:

        Mike: I have opined on this issue several years ago when Brutus allowed me to publish maybe a dozen essays on my theory of urbanism (that I call Alternative Urbanism) and based on my experience in ecovillage living and regenerative development the past three years, since my personal life went into the Cosmic Cuisinart 🙂

        You are correct to state that, “…most El Pasoans have neither the education nor the literacy to understand what is going on.” The good news is they don;’t have to; they only have to want to stop being colonized and take many (alternative urbanist) approaches to taking back control of their neighborhoods, economy, education, food security, culture and polity. Even problems as intractable as homelessness find a solution in this mix.

        It is useless and wasteful to fight city hall because its whole operating paradigm is a kind of legalized prostitution fueled by money and working for corporations. And, BTW, most informed people here prefer it that way.

        Thanks for your comment.

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      • JerryK says:

        Imagine a typical city run by the typical powers-that-be, like El Paso, but in which an underground, parallel city or community exists with a life of its own, independent of the politicos and bureaucrats. What would that be like? What dimensions are independent, since it can’t tax or enforce laws? (BTW, Portlandia wont’ work here; not enough hipsters.)

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Over on KVIA’s FB Page, parents are complaining about the entrance fees to the new east side sports complex because the cost for a large family to go every game is pretty steep. The city is supposedly going to go back and see if these can be reduced. Some parents are even suggesting a boycott until fees are reduced or eliminated. The bigger issue that brings to mind is this: are we building stuff too elaborate (in terms of operating costs) for the families who use it to afford? If so, does that mean taxpayers at large are going to have to further subsidize this overkill because the folks who actually use don’t want to pay entrance fees? This is a good argument for scaling back projects to what the market can afford in entrance fees. It appears we aren’t sanity checking affordability at the project design phase.

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  3. Jud Burgess says:

    Did you know that city leaders budgeted only $7 million for the most asked for use of our taxes by El Pasoans – paving of our streets?

    Robert Cortinas painted a grave picture at the budget meeting saying that we need to put aside $39 million every year if we are to go on the standard 25-year repavement cycle.

    He states we are $32 million short. $64 million short in two years…96 million short in 3 years.

    BUT, roads aren’t as sexy as a $200 million plus arena or a $60 million “world class” children’s museum.

    Watch my new important 20+ minute video “mayor Dee Margo, city leaders and the unpaved road to ruin” — exposing some of the holes in Tuesday’s budget meeting at City Hall. Cmon, I know you have more that a 3 minute attention span…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anonymous says:

      And let’s not forget, the Chime in survey forced people to make three choices. You couldn’t make one or two. I selected parks as my third simply to end the survey, but I don’t care about parks. I care about streets and police. I wonder how many other people selected parks because of the requirement to pick three.

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  4. Mike Schwartz says:

    How do you stop the tax increases? Contacting the area rep? Nope, he ignores input. Contacting City Council? Form letter thanking you for your views. During a City Council meeting discussing the taxes? At best you are ignored. Worst case you are escorted out.Recall petitions? Take too long and are easily defeated. I think we tried two out of the three boxes to upend this corrupt administration

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  5. Lily Limón says:

    Does the city have a demographer?
    If not, who pulls these numbers?
    This is an issue of wreck less taxation and not an immigration issue.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    But, but, but where does all the money go? Back pockets, golf clubs, Country Club fees?? The ONLY “Population increase” here is in the 100,000 PLUS, Illegals that LIVE in El Taxo and just keep coming to the Sanctuary City. And why not, the POLITICIANS tax INCREASES on US, support THEM. Ask Margo, City Council what WE get for THEIR tax increases? WE get NOTHING. THEY don’t clean up the city, fix roads, streets and can’t, DON’T pay the POLICE, FIREMEN and that’s why THEY have virtually few to no Police on the streets. Except for Military, Federal Agents, Officers nobody is moving to El Taxo, so “Population increase”, “Tax increases, is just more lies, deceit. Happiness is the corruption of El Taxo politicians, in the rear view mirror and driving East or West. Anybody have Recall Petitions for Margo, North East Rep, let us know.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Yea lots of problems happen, that is life, I was taught to balance my accounts and keep my chin up. The people in my life thought dignity was important. Fiscal responsibility was important. They were immigrants that came to this country with nothing. Dreaming of having a good meal. Knowing your limitations is one of the most, vital lessons to learn. Leave things better than you found them, have respect, stay in balance, be informed, the immigrants in my family taught me a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Riff Raff says:

    Are there years that you spend more money on your car than you did the year before even though the car stayed the same? This year, your windshield cracked, so you had to buy a new one. You needed new tires. Maybe you had to pay more this year on insurance. The car didn’t change, but the cost to maintain it did.

    Like

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