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


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


Its over

October 10, 2018

We recently endured a contentious process that culminated in the confirmation of a new supreme court justice.

Will we see as a result a more energized electorate in the November election?

Will the tactics used by each side backfire and cause their opponents to galvanize?

I can point to one thing for certain–every vote counts.

We deserve better


Fewer births

August 27, 2018

According to our county hospital’s June 2018 financial report,  births in the April to June quarter are down by 20% from the same quarter in 2016.

Can any of our readers help explain this to us?

We deserve better


The modern smoke filled room

August 16, 2018

Our county commissioners seem to like to have “special” meetings just like city council.

This page shows us that they like to have a lot of meetings and that they hold them in different places:

They meet in their public courtroom, in the building lobby, and disturbingly in the judge’s conference room.

Pick a meeting

The important ones are held out in public, right?


The next slide is the first part of the agenda for the August 16, 2018 meeting (being held in the judge’s conference room).

Evidently public participation in the budget does not need to be provided for.

We deserve better


Hospital getting better

August 12, 2018

We should be thankful that we have a new administrator over at the county hospital.

According to a notice recently published in the Times their tax rate for next year will not go up from last year.

Because of increases in property values as well as new construction in the last year the hospital will still collect $1.7 more in property taxes than they did last year.

From what we can see he has made significant cuts to payroll costs this year.

Some may argue that the decision was not difficult in light of the high spending that the previous administrator imposed on us.

Still, this new administrator is not like the city that is thinking about raising their tax rate to the maximum value they can without letting the voters have a say and then adding significant fees to our garbage and utility bills.

This is better


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