City loses refinancing options

January 10, 2018

According to this slide from the recent special presentation to city council the new feral tax law will limit the city’s ability to issue tax refunding bonds:

In prior years the city had the ability to issue tax refunding bonds to purchase old bonds that had unfavorable interest rates.  In short, when the cost of bonds went down the city could buy new bonds and use the money to refund old bonds thus lowering the annual interest costs.

Unfortunately the city often used the opportunity to make the new bonds expire later than the existing bonds.  They were kicking the can down the road so that they did not have to pay off the principal on the original bonds.

Before the new law the city could evidently use this trick whenever they felt that interest rates justified the action.

Evidently under the new law they will only be able to do this within a window 90 days before the published call date for the original bonds.  According to the chart above the call date on bonds is typically 10 years after the bonds were issued.

Bond interest costs fluctuate.  The city will now only be able to use refunding bonds 9 3/4 years after the bonds are issued.  Interest rates might be higher or lower at that time.

This will have a significant impact on the city budget.

The spendthrifts on this and prior councils have put us in a box.

We deserve better


City briefing on increasing bond costs

January 8, 2018

City council is going to have another one of its “special” meetings Monday, January 8, 2018.

The city says they are special because they are not part of the regularly scheduled Tuesday meetings.

We think that they are special because they are not held in the regular city council meeting room and the video tapes of the meetings are seldom posted on the city’s website.  It looks to us that they hold these meetings to do things that the public is not made aware of.

This meeting will consider two special items.  One of them is a briefing for city council members on the impact of the recent tax legislation passed in Washington.

The effect of the legislation will be to make bonds more expensive to El Pasoans.

Remember that the city has yet to issue over $450 million of bonds that were authorized in the 2012 bond election.  This shows the breakdown.

We don’t expect the city will tell us how much this is going to cost us anytime soon.

We deserve better



Back in the district attorney’s court

November 28, 2017

Two of our community bloggers have been trading pot shots about various things including the apparent open meetings violations committed by a current and former members of city council.  See Texas Rangers.

Now according to the Lionstar blog:

Well that allegedly fake investigation by the Texas Rangers was concluded and turned over to the District Attorneys Office.

Now it is up to our district attorney.

One can argue that the DA  was right to stay out of the school prosecutions since they were being handled at the federal level.

This issue however is clearly a local one.  The public deserves prompt action from the district attorney.  He should either prosecute the case or let us know why he will not.

We deserve better


Putting the squeeze on local governments

November 16, 2017

It seems that congress is considering eliminating the personal income tax deductions for state and local taxes.

That would cause citizen involvement to lower local taxes.

Maybe that is a good idea.

We deserve better


Grading our politicians

November 15, 2017

The earlier post about the kindergarten report card got us to look into what else our elected officials might learn at EPISD.

According to the pre-kindergarten report card the school district measures these things:

Maybe we should change the age limit on these elected positions.  A pre-k child that gets a “P” for proficient on these things might be a better candidate than what we have.

We deserve better


What corporate tax rate?

November 12, 2017

A regular reader sent this in the other day:

Politicians WILL NEVER understand that Corporations do not pay taxes no matter how high or low the rate.


PEOPLE pay taxes.


The COST of a manufacturer’s product INCLUDES the taxes they pay, besides the raw materials, and labor.


Do you want a lower cost of living?  Educate your Congressman about true economics.

I personally think it is a hopeless cause.

They could learn it in kindergarten

November 8, 2017

This little snippet is part of the EPISD kindergarten report card:

Could we get our elected officials to attend that class?

We deserve better


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