No way to avoid high property taxes in El Paso

July 5, 2019

If a commercial or industrial firm was considering opening a facility in El Paso and the managers/owners did not want to move to El Paso they would probably rent apartments.

El Paso had the second highest property tax rate applied to apartments of the 50 largest cities in the United States during 2018.

Those property taxes get passed through to the renters.

For those who cannot afford to buy a house that means high taxes.  For those that want to continue to live out of town but need a place to stay while they are here it means high taxes.

We deserve better


Another group that we are not attracting.

July 3, 2019

We recently wrote about El Paso having the highest industrial property tax rate among the 50 largest cities in the United States during the 2018 tax year.

Next we talked about El Paso having the highest residential property tax rate for smaller homes and the second highest rate on larger homes in those same cities.

How did we compare on commercial properties (like call centers, transportation companies and others–as opposed to industrial facilities)?

El Paso had the third highest property tax rate on all sizes of commercial properties during that period.

People who own those kinds of commercial businesses will probably find it hard to justify moving to El Paso and facing the third highest property tax rates on their commercial businesses and the first or second highest rates on their homes.

We deserve better


When taxes hit home

July 2, 2019

In How not to try to attract industry we pointed out that El Paso had the highest industrial tax rate among the 50 largest cities in the United States for the 2018 tax year.

According to the report we were citing El Paso also had the highest residential tax rate on homesteaded median value homes in areas where there were  assessment limits.

Median value evidently meant less than $150,000.  That means that we taxed the people living in lower value homes proportionately more than anyone else.

For homes valued between $150,000 and $300,000 El Paso’s tax rate was the second highest among the 50 largest cities.

People that manage businesses that are considering a move to El Paso probably fall into the higher home value range.

We offer them the opportunity to be like many El Pasoans and pay the second highest rate shown.

Is it any wonder that people are leaving town and that we don’t attract companies?

We deserve better


How not to try to attract industry

July 1, 2019

The Lincoln Institute and the Minnesota Center for Fiscal Excellence jointly publish an annual report comparing property taxes among the 50 states.

The report for the 2018 tax year is out.  You can see the whole thing here.

This year’s report lists El Paso as having the highest property tax rate on industrial properties of the top 50 cities in the United States.

The report shows three breakdowns: smaller industrial firms (land and building value up to $100,000), mid-sized firms (land and building value up to $1 million), and larger firms ($25 million).

We had the highest tax rate in all three categories last year.

Is this the way to attract industry?

We will probably read some comments about the local governments granting tax abatements to incoming industrial firms.  Remember that those abatements have a finite life.  After that the firms end up paying the regular tax rate.

The people that operate those firms have to pay property taxes on their homes, or if they are carpetbaggers through their apartment rentals.

We deserve better


Battle of the bulge

May 12, 2019

What will our local governments do if our state legislature puts a cap on how much they can raise taxes from one year to another?

Look for them to start charging more fees  to use facilities that we already own.

The city has been quite successful in moving fees over to the water department and thus increasing our monthly bills.

We are now seeing charges being imposed on the use of facilities that we financed with the so called quality of life bonds.

We deserve better


One last chance?

May 9, 2019

Get ready for local government tax increases this year.

There are bills being considered in the Texas legislature that would restrict the percentage of increase local governments could add to their tax rates.

Right now most local governments (not the school districts since many of them are already at their maximum rates) can increase their tax rate by around 8% every year without triggering a roll back election.

The new bills would restrict that growth.  It seems that one bill being considered would limit their increase to 3.5% per year, once again without triggering an election.

The situation has our locals concerned.  Reducing costs does not appear to be something that they want to do.

With the threat of a 3.5% cap being imposed on them don’t be surprised if they take what might be their last opportunity and hit us with an 8% increase this year.

We deserve better


Call your state representative

April 18, 2019

A regular reader posted a comment the other day that deserves promotion.

S/he wrote:

BRUTUS: On page 9A of today’s El Paso TIMES, there is a short clip titled “Property tax bill clears Senate over backlash by big cities.”

This might be a TOPIC for tomorrow, since it’s an effort to CAP yearly property tax increases to 3.5% for cities and 2.5% for school districts.

Could not find this article on the TIMES website, but did find it at the Texas Tribune and other Texas newspaper websites.

Since some posters on your website have such galactic ‘shit fits’ over local taxes; it might be HELPFUL for those Texas legislators OUTSIDE El Paso pushing this bill, to hear from El Paso taxpayers who like the idea. Also let the Texas Governor and LT. Governor know.

Of course our local elected officials are ‘scared shitless’ over this initiative! Remember: “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.”


The bill has different house and senate versions but has passed in the senate.

It was filed back in November of 2016.  It appears as though it will be considered during this congressional session.

Hope springs eternal.

We deserve better


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