The city budget is fat. Obviously they have extra money. Lookie here. From the El Paso Times:
The city will issue an extra $15.5 million in debt to build the second phase of the East Side sports complex, which officials said will be paid back by future property owners in the area without impacting the overall city tax rate.
“The only individuals that will be impacted are people who choose to live in the area,” said Robert Cortinas, director of the Office of Management and Budget. “There’s no impact to the tax rate.”
Fifteen and a half million bucks, but no increase in the tax rate. How are they gonna do that?
There are currently no homes in the zones, but Cortinas said a consulting firm projected that about 2,200 homes will be built there in the next 12 years.
“We don’t anticipate any issues with generating revenue, and in fact; it’s quite the opposite,” Cortinas said. “We are projecting around year five or six that we’ll actually start to see an increase (and) more revenue being generated than what’s needed for the debt payment.”
Under the Public Improvement District, homeowners in the area would pay $3,000 in fees to be used for improvements within the district itself, including the complex. Those homeowners would have the option of paying $200 per year for 15 years.
So let’s see. 2,200 homes, times 3,000 bucks. That works out to $6.6 million dollars.
Quick math quiz: Which is greater: $15.5 million, or $6.6 million?
Right, $15.5 million is about $9 million greater than $6.6 million. So the only way we can pay that extra $8.9 million without if affecting our tax rate is if there’s already a little slush fund in the budget.
Because city services aren’t free. Somebody’s going to be paying for the firemen, and the police, and the sanitation services out there on the eastern fringe. And it’s not going to be the people living out there, because their taxes will be paying for a park in their neighborhood.
And let’s not forget:
The initial project was set to cost $10 million from the quality of life bond approved by voters in 2012, but the cost grew to about $23.6 million after community meetings inflated the scope of the project to include double the sports fields and amenities.
Another one of those community meetings. Those community meetings justify everything.
I don’t mean to drag any crabs back into the bucket, but it looks like Mr. Cortinas is angling for a job as the City’s Chief Financial Officer.
It kind of looks like he has the qualifications.