Another burden

April 14, 2020

It’s time to pay the piper.

We were told that our ballpark would be paid for with hotel occupancy taxes.  The city raised our hotel occupancy tax to the highest in the state to make that possible.

The state legislature reacted by putting a cap on how much a city can charge–they set the maximum rate at El Paso’s.

As a result the city cannot raise the rate.

When hotel occupancy taxes are not sufficient to pay the debt payments on the ballpark the money has to be taken from the city’s general fund.

Take a look at this:

Don’t expect travelers on Interstate 10 to stop in El Paso when they can go to another city where they will pay less.

Sales tax revenue, franchise tax revenue, property tax revenue–actually all revenue sources for the city are expected to drop as a result of the current COVID situation.

The ballpark will become a larger expense to the general fund at the same time that revenues are dropping.

In Over our navels in debt  we pointed out that 57% of our property taxes in 2019 were used to pay for debt.

We need to stop building luxuries until we get our financing in order.

We deserve better

Brutus


Why did they publish this?

February 16, 2020

The February 9-15, 2020 issue of El Paso Inc. had an interview with our first city manager.

They wrote:

Then came … a $44 million ballot item for a new ballpark that more than 70% of voters supported…

Not true

The voters were never asked to approve a ballpark.  They were asked to approve using hotel occupancy taxes to pay for it.  If the voters declined approval the bill would have been added to our property taxes.  This is what we voted on:

VENUE PROJECT AND HOTEL OCCUPANCY TAX PROPOSITION

“AUTHORIZING THE CITY OF EL PASO, TEXAS, TO DESIGNATE THE MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL STADIUM PROJECT AS A SPORTS AND COMMUNITY VENUE PROJECT WITHIN THE CITY IN ACCORDANCE WITH APPLICABLE LAW AND TO IMPOSE A TAX ON THE OCCUPANCY OF A ROOM IN A HOTEL LOCATED WITHIN THE CITY, AT THE MAXIMUM RATE OF TWO PERCENT (2%) OF THE PRICE PAID FOR SUCH ROOM, FOR THE PURPOSE OF FINANCING SUCH VENUE PROJECT.”

Wrong amount

The Inc’s $44 million number is not true either.

Back in August of 2015 we wrote Latest ballpark numbers and showed our portion of the cost to be over $64 million.

The Inc reporter has been around a long time.

Why would he blatantly misstate the facts?

We deserve better

Brutus


Didn’t work out that way

September 1, 2019

Remember that ball park that would be paid for by hotel motel occupancy taxes?

That did not quite work out.

Take a look at the column on the far right of this chart:

In 2019 they project that 27% of the debt service will have to be paid with other sources of revenue.

We deserve better

Brutus


Property owners stretched to the limit

July 23, 2019

The note below was a letter to the editor in the El Paso Times recently:

Property owners stretched to the limit

Why are property owners in El Paso constantly being asked to cough up more money?

Paving streets and operating within allotted budgets seems would be a priority. Costly ballpark, a demolished City Hall, the trolley car debacle, missing millions, new bus terminals and empty buses, and tax abatements for new businesses for years. Guess who is shouldering this cost?

Combine that with our dysfunctional school system, with their bond money, that would choke a donkey. Wages here aren’t in line with our progress. My quality of life doesn’t allow me to water my lawn anymore.

As a taxpayer, wouldn’t it be nice if you could have a bond election every time your checkbook was short?

Greg Allen

West El Paso

********************************************

Well said Mr. Allen.

We deserve better

Brutus


Can this be true?

June 27, 2019

David K over at Refuse the Juice wrote this in a recent blog post:

“Streetcar” update… A friend reached out to tell me they were in El Paso last week and road the trolley.  She mentioned something about a baseball derailing a care recently, but was otherwise happy with her ride.  She had to take an Uber back to her hotel, though.  The whole thing struck me as funny.

We deserve better

Brutus


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