Another hidden tax

February 3, 2020

There is an item on the Tuesday, February 4, 2020 city council agenda that would formalize an agreement between the company buying the electric company and the city.

In it the new company agrees to pay $100 million dollars at the rate of $5 million per year for 20 years to the city for economic development.

They also agree to pay $750 thousand a year for 10 years directly into the city’s general fund.

According to documents filed with the Texas public utilities commission the new electric company will not be able to recover the $100 million dollars through their electric rates.

How can that be?

If somehow the electric company can pay this without a rate increase, wouldn’t we rather have a rate decrease instead of giving the money to the city?

This is a tax.

We deserve better


How we compare on debt

January 30, 2020

Take a look at how the city of El Paso compares to other comparable cities in Texas when it comes to debt:

The chart comes from the Texas comptroller’s web site.

Only Austin had more tax supported debt than us in 2018.

However our city went another $161 million into debt in January of 2019.  Remember that those numbers do not include the multi-purpose performing arts center or the children’s museum or the multi-cultural center.

We deserve better


Over our navels in debt

January 28, 2020

Elrichboy over at nailed it again.

He wrote about how our city budget has had a surplus five years in a row yielding $44.6 million.

We thank the city manager for generating the savings.

The five year streak also makes us disbelieve his constant claims that we need tax increases.

Unfortunately our city council will come up with ways to spend the surplus funds instead of using them to pay down our enormous debt.

Before the city continued their spending spree with $161 million of bonds in January of 2019 the cost of debt service was $110 million a year.

They budgeted $193 million from property taxes that year.

Yes 57% of our property taxes went to debt service in fiscal year 2019.

We deserve better


More public art

January 22, 2020

We evidently have enough money to do this:

These are luxuries.

We deserve better


Thinking that money grows on trees

January 21, 2020

You may have seen these on Airway Boulevard:

Hmmm.  If you wonder how much we spent take a look at this:

How very unfortunate.

We deserve better


Did they do this purposefully?

January 19, 2020

This chart is part of an upcoming presentation to city council:

What is the funding source of the green 53%?

We deserve better


Taxing our food

January 17, 2020

The city has hired a concessionaire for the four new water parks.

Take a look at this:

Yes, now the city will get to tax you on the food you eat at a city park.

We deserve better


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