Ball park debt

Several of the local media outlets told us the other day  “ballpark debt to be paid by 2021”.

Horse feathers!

What they should have told us is that the city thinks that the taxpayer funded subsidy currently necessary to pay the debt service might not be necessary in order to pay the debt service costs after 2021.

The city says that they believe that the combination of hotel occupancy taxes dedicated to the project and sales tax revenues generated from within the ball park will be adequate to cover the debt service costs after 2021.

The latest projection that we have been able to find from the city indicates that they will use hotel occupancy taxes and sales tax revenues to pay the mortgage until 2043.

We deserve better


19 Responses to Ball park debt

  1. John Dungan says:

    Yes, I saw those headlines, and wondered just how stupid do they think we are. But, then, we did supposedly turn out the vote and approve the whole damn thing for them, didn’t we?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. mamboman3 says:

    One station reported that they had adjusted a few things in order to increase the yearly subsidies of $200,000 per year for the next two years so they will cut two years of payments down from 2023 to 2021. Those “adjustments” include increasing the hotel occupancy tax (sticking it to visitors), increasing the ballgame ticket prices (sticking it to customers) and increasing the parking fees (sticking it to downtown visitors). The net effect is something like doubling the $200,000/year to about $400,000 per year for the next two years. Seems the city thinks it’s “great news” that not only are they still using our property taxes (which they always promised would not be used for this purpose; and which they’ve effectively raised about 3 times), but now they are increasing other costs to make us and visitors to our city pay extra for the next two years. I would say this reflects the total disrespect our city has for its citizens as nothing more than easy suckers to tap for extra revenue!
    The other station reported something different like that the subsidies had already come to an end and the city could start reaping a profit from ballpark revenues. I don’t think they got the story right.


    • John Hogan says:

      That’s not doubling by any means. We’ve been paying an average of $500,000 a year from the general fund since the beginning.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mamboman3 says:

        John Hogan, the KVIA story starts out saying…”the City want’s everyone to know that it isn’t spending millions to subsidize the ballpark. Then they go on to say, “they’ve been spending about $200,000 per year on those subsidies and the plan was to do so until 2023, but now they’ve been able to cut that down by two years. Lies, lies, lies? Fuzzy math? Cortinas seems to have the numbers figured out to make the city and the ballpark looking good?


    • Rich Wright says:

      The Hotel Occupancy Tax is already as high as it can legally go. Unless they’ve got a change in state law in the works.


      • mamboman3 says:

        John Dungan, where did you see those headlines. I couldn’t find a printed story anywhere. Even at the KVIA site, I couldn’t find the original story.


      • mamboman3 says:

        Rich Wright, yes that’s what I was wondering. If we had to vote to increase the HOT how is it legal that they could increase the HOT anymore, or how could they get any more out of the the existing HOT? Wouldn’t that require another voter approval? Maybe I got the story wrong, but that is what I understood about the three “adjustments” made to cut two years off the 2023 goal.


        • fuzzy math watch says:

          The ballot vote was to increase the HOT by 2.5% to be used to fund the ballpark.

          The City started out with a 1% HOT increase and have been adjusting upwards to the 2.5% which is why there is no ballot vote required.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Anonymous says:

            Actually, the amount of increase on the H.O.T. was 2%. That brought our hotel tax rate to 17.5%. The extra 2% is going toward debt service on that stadium. But we’ve been spending approximately $500,000 a year for the first five years of operation, extra money out of our general fund to make up for the shortfalls in the hotel tax subsidies.

            So to put this in perspective, we’ve spent about $2.5 million extra dollars that come from our general fund plus another $1.2 million for alterations to the stadium plus all the hotel tax subsidies. In reality, we spent boatloads of money and a private enterprise is making all the profits. That’s simply wrong.

            Let’s also not forget the additional millions of dollars we spent tearing down city hall and the Insights Museum to make room for that ball park and the millions spent relocating city hall and all other departmental services to the east side of downtown in addition to losing the tax money on those buildings because now they are city-owned and were bought at above market price.

            Sounds ludicrous, doesn’t it?


        • Fed Up says:

          I believe El Paso now has the highest hotel tax rate in the state. In 2013, the Texas Legislature established a maximum cap of 17 percent for all state and local HOT taxes. El Paso’s local taxes, however, were put in place before the Legislature established the combined cap. That was done when they shoved the ballpark down our throats. Our city and venue taxes total 9 percent combined, on top of a 2.5 percent county tax and the 6 percent state tax, for a total of 17.5 percent.


  3. Anonymous says:

    There’s another recall effort along with a move to kill the City Manager position so they are trying to confuse voters by making a signature “shoved down voters’ throats” project look better than it is. Even if the General Fund money is replaced, they’ll just waste it on something else instead of doing what used to be done: using it as a reserve to minimize the need for a tax increase in years with surprise expenses. These folks are committed to spending every dime they can get their hands on.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. fuzzy math watch says:

    Beware Fuzzy Math Man has arrived!!!!!!!!

    If you recall the former Fuzzy Math Lady did not account for non-recurring events, i.e. Ft Bliss and cartel violence, in the original projection of the HOT tax and is in part why ballpark funding estimates were seriously flawed and deficit.

    A recent media report of increased HOT and sales tax revenue was attributed to the employees related to the Tornillo Tent camp which is now closed therefore a non-recurring event.

    Also sheltering migrants in hotels has become financially unsustainable and therefore tenuous HOT revenue at best.

    In other words, more fallacious projections.

    They are doing this to try to make these stadium venues look successful in order to justify issuing more non-voter approved debt to fund a non-voter approved arena and no doubt a soccer stadium.

    Liked by 1 person

    • John Hogan says:

      Petitions to be signed at Veteran’s Park on Railroad Drive Saturday from 11 to 4.

      And Sunday at Airsoft Field 12800 Veta Rica Ave, El Paso, TX 79938 from noon until 4.


    • Anonymous says:

      Sheltering migrants in hotels doesn’t generate HOT tax. Annunciation House is a nonprofit. When they rent hotels for migrants they aren’t charged HOT tax. So, there is another way that illegal immigration costs the taxpayers of this city. The Tornillo tent city workers did pay HOT tax but our open borders crowd worked really hard to shut down that source of jobs and revenue. Think about that logic—kill jobs and non-property tax revenue while facilitating entry for financial immigrants coming from areas with 50% literacy rates who are gaming our asylum system. Our local leadership really has the interests of hard-working US citizens in mind.


  5. Caution says:

    This is an attempt to mislead and soften up the public before city council proposes building a soccer stadium for Mountainstar.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Reality Check says:

    Capital construction debt aside, we are also subsidizing operations related to the ballpark because the city entered into a lease agreement that was tilted totally in favor of Mountainstar. The annual lease fee is ridiculously low and the city receives a minuscule share of related revenues, while picking up a lot of operating and maintenance related expenses. The city didn’t even demand a share of the ballpark naming rights which have generated millions of dollars for Mountainstar.


    • mamboman3 says:

      I seriously question how much Mountain Star has received from SWU on those naming rights for one reason being that it’s been kept such a secret and for another reason that I don’t think SWU has that much money to spare to be able to give “millions” as you say. SWU may have some money available but I don’t think they would be so generous. I think it was some kind of bartering deal. SWU was little known and family owned before it partnered with the ballpark.


Leave a Reply to Rich Wright Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: