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

Brutus


Young voters

November 1, 2018

It should not be a surprise that EPISD has been working to get their students who are old enough to vote registered as voters.

https://www.episd.org/site/default.aspx?PageType=3&DomainID=4&ModuleInstanceID=101&ViewID=6446EE88-D30C-497E-9316-3F8874B3E108&RenderLoc=0&FlexDataID=24569&PageID=1

The penny swap election will affect the district.

Maybe one of our readers can tell us what their student was told by the school about the pro’s and con’s of the issue.

We deserve better

Brutus

 

 


EPISD–administrative costs

October 26, 2018

Evidently EPISD is doing a better job controlling their administrative costs than the other local districts.

We deserve better

Brutus


EPISD–financial rating

October 24, 2018

It doesn’t look like things are getting better at EPISD, at least from a financial perspective.

For 15 years the district achieved the highest rating and now they have fallen into the lower half of the above standard rating.

We deserve better

Brutus


EPISD debt service

October 23, 2018

This is the ballot language relating to the EPISD issue:

“APPROVING THE AD VALOREM TAX RATE OF $1.41 PER $100 VALUATION IN THE EL PASO ISD FOR THE CURRENT YEAR, A RATE
THAT IS $0.0647 HIGHER PER $100 VALUATION THAN THE SCHOOL DISTRICT ROLLBACK TAX RATE, FOR THE PURPOSE OF
GENERATING ADDITIONAL STATE FUNDING TO SUPPORT THE DISTRICT’S COMPENSATION PLAN AS ADOPTED ANNUALLY
INCLUDING THE ONE-TIME EMPLOYEE STIPEND IN 2018-2019, TO EXPAND ACADEMIC PROGRAMMING, AND TO SUPPLEMENT
FUND BALANCE. IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN THE CURRENT TAX RATE, IF VOTERS APPROVE THE $1.41 TAX RATE, THE BOARD OF
TRUSTEES WILL REDUCE THE INTEREST AND SINKING RATE BY $.10, TO REDUCE THE TOTAL TAX RATE TO $1.31, WHICH IS
EQUAL TO THE TAX RATE FROM 2017-2018.”

The problem

Their 2018-19 Official Budget report shows:

Their existing interest and sinking rate (before the election) is $.24.  From that they estimate raising $37,913,980.  If they lower the rate by ten cents they will raise about $22.1 million.

That leaves them with just enough money to pay the interest on the bonds but none of the principal.

Also according to state law they can raise the interest and sinking fund rate next year without fear of triggering a roll back election.

We deserve better

Brutus


EPISD telling stories

October 17, 2018

It seems that someone over at EPISD is having problems with arithmetic again.

The Times published this article back in June, 2018.  In it they listed elementary schools that the district was considering for closure.

Rivera elementary was shown to have 360 students putting it at 51 percent of capacity.

Then again

Back in March of 2015 the district published the Jacobs study (994 pages) of EPISD facilities.

In the study Jacobs tells us that Rivera has a permanent capacity (no portable classrooms) of 388 students.

That means that the school was at 93 percent of its capacity when the Times ran the article.

According to a October 10, 2018 report to the board the school has 331 students today (85%).

Even more concerning is that Polk elementary (eight tenths of a mile away from Rivera) has 700 students today in a school with a permanent capacity of 615.

They could transfer students from Polk to Rivera and Rivera would be at 100% of its capacity.

Then again it looks like the district just wants to close Rivera and is willing to publish inaccurate statistics to justify their plans.

We deserve better

Brutus


How big should our schools be?

October 12, 2018

The question of closing some of  our underutilized schools has been discussed recently among the commentators.

That raises the question, how many students should the schools be built to accommodate?

We evidently currently have schools that are operating with far fewer students than the schools were designed to handle and as a result are being considered for closure.

Let’s limit the question to our elementary schools for purposes of discussion of this post.

Should the schools be designed to limit the need for buses to carry the children who live more than two miles away from the school to it?

Or should the elementary schools be large and thus potentially enjoy the economic advantages of scale?

Texas does not require our school districts to provide transportation to and from school.  They will however provide financial assistance to school districts that provide transportation as long as the students live two or more miles from the school.

We deserve better

Brutus


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