Robbing our schools and hospital

November 14, 2018

The land (for the water park deal)  that the city is trading so that it can give it away for $1,000 per year with a $10,000 buy out was formerly owned privately and was taxed around 54 thousand dollars a year by the city,  $29 thousand a year by the county,  $98 thousand a year by the Canutillo independent school district, $9,000 a year by our community college and $16,307 yearly by our county hospital.  The total comes to $188 thousand each year.

Now that the city owns the land those taxes go away.


If the land is actually worth the $18.6 million that we are told the owner wants the tax situation would be different.  The annual taxes would be $597,686.00.

Because the city has assumed ownership of the land, and thus the land cannot be assessed property taxes, the other entities are going to lose money also.

Using the claimed $18.6 million figure the Canutillo district will lose $284,580 per year for the ten years that the city will own the land.

The city tells us that homeowners pay a disproportionate part of the property tax (compared to businesses and industries) and then go right ahead and throw away a piece of property that would pay almost $600,000 a year.

We deserve better


County gives away our money

November 13, 2018

The water park deal gets more expensive to the taxpayers every time we study it.

In addition to the deals that the city has made we now see that the county has chipped in also.

The deal with the county (read the whole thing here if you wish) has some differences from what we have been told previously by the city.

While the city has been telling us that the development company will be spending more than $150 million on the project, the deal with the county requires the developer’s minimum investment “to include cash and in-kind contributions in an amount no less than” $100 million.

And while we have been told that the land is worth $18.6 million we find that it is on the tax rolls at the appraisal district at $4,748,573.


Moving along as though those numbers don’t matter, the county has committed to give the developers up to:

  • $3,048,544.54 in real property tax rebates
  • $   208,812.20 in personal property tax rebates
  • $1,037,737.42 in hotel occupancy tax rebates

The total is $4,295,094.10 if I ran my calculator correctly.

Remember that we cannot use the water park unless we rent rooms at the hotel.

We deserve better


Deliberately misleading

November 12, 2018

This map was part of the water park presentation given to city council the other day.

What the map does not show is that the company is building a similar resort in Scottsdale Arizona (Phoenix) that is scheduled to open in 2019.

Our circle will be considerably smaller.

We deserve better


Tax bills

November 10, 2018

This came in from Max Grossman:

Dear Friends,

Like thousands of other El Pasoans, I finally received word of my new property tax assessment. The breakdown for 2017 and 2018 looks like this:

Taxing entity             2017                2018                % change


CITY OF EL PASO      0.803433         0.843332         +4.97%

EL PASO COUNTY    0.452694         0.447819          -1.09%

EL PASO I.S.D.          1.310000         1.310000           0

EPCC                          0.141638         0.140273          -0.97%

UNIV MED CTR        0.251943         0.251943           0


TOTAL TAX RATE    2.959708%      2.993367%      +1.14%

Thus, the City of El Paso was the only taxing entity to raise our taxes, and they did so by almost 5%. Moreover, in the last six years the City of El Paso has raised our taxes from $0.66 per $100 valuation to $0.8433, an increase of 27%! Yes, we have actually joined the “3% Club” with Detroit!

For 2018, the value of my home was assessed 16.15% higher, but then my attorney sued to lower that increase to only 7.69%, which is still huge. Between that and my fleecing at the hands of the City, my property taxes are $684.46 higher for the coming year. That is money that I will not spend in the local economy, hurting local businesses and pressuring wages.

Our Mayor, who had promised to hold the line on taxes, and our City Council are 100% responsible for the tax hike, which is a direct result of their reckless borrowing and spending, their inability to contain our debt, their failure to respect established budgets, and their insistence upon increasing the cost of the already-bloated QOL bond projects, especially their “Arena,” by issuing new debt that was never approved by the voters.


We invite our readers to tell us what happened to their tax bills this year.

We deserve better


Water park not feasible without incentives

November 9, 2018

This slide explains the water park viability as well as anything we have seen:

The red coloring is part of a page in an economic impact analysis that the city has posted on their website.  You can read it here.

Simply put the analysis concluded that the hotel would only generate an internal rate of return of 4.2% unless someone kicked in some free money (government incentives).

The authors stated that investors would need an internal rate of return of between 14 and 16%.

They stated “As a result, in the absence of additional financial incentives, the Proposed Hotel is likely not feasible.”

Aren’t we nice?

We deserve better


Proving where you live

November 8, 2018

City council is planning to pass an ordinance requiring entrance fees to use the new eastside sports complex.

The ordinance exempts residents of both PID (property improvement district) 2 and TIRZ (tax increment refinance zone) 9 because of the money that those properties contributed to the building of the complex.

My question is how will the city know which people to exempt?  How will people prove that they live within those two areas?  How much will it cost to have people administer the exemption?

We deserve better


Trading land you don’t own

November 4, 2018

There has been a lot of activity talking about the water park the last few days.

Part of the package involves the city trading property with a local land owner.

The city then plans to lease their newly acquired land to the resort company.

The rest of the story is that the city does not own the land it plans to trade.  Our water utility does.  The city is planning to buy the land from the water utility and pay for it over a 30 year period.

We deserve better


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