In 2012, our property tax rates was 66 cents per $100 of valuation. For FY2023, the property tax rate is 86 cents per $100. On top of that, our property values have shot up, so the increase in our tax bills are worse than that.
So maybe you’re wondering how it all got so bad so quick.
It wasn’t by accident. It wasn’t an unforeseeable consequence of some casual arbitrary decisions.
It was all part of the City’s Strategic Plan.
The City brags about its Strategic Plan. The strategic plan is responsible everything from the plants in the street medians to the City Manager’s annual raises. Until recently, the Strategic Plan was featured on the landing page of the City’s website.
The City is proud of their Strategic Plan.
Goal 4 for the Plan is “ENHANCE EL PASO’S QUALITY OF LIFE THROUGH RECREATIONAL,
CULTURAL AND EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENTS”.
And 4.1 is “Deliver bond projects impacting quality of life across the city in a timely, efficient manner”.
Now one could argue that everything all at once is not timely and efficient. One might think that everything in due time is timely, efficient, and prudent, but that’s not the way the City sees it. They’re full on all the time.
Have you ever started a garden? Before you start a garden, you have to prepare the soil. You have to make sure there are sufficient nutrients in the ground to feed your plants. You have to make sure that the surface has been prepared for rain runoff, so that there aren’t low places where the plants get drowned, or high places that are hard to keep wet. And sometimes you might find that the seeds you have planted aren’t right for the climate.
Yeah, the City didn’t do any of that. The wanted a trolley, so they built a trolley that doesn’t really go anywhere people really want to go. They put in water parks because the City Manager unilaterally decided we needed water parks.
Don’t you wish that you weren’t footing the bill for the trolley and water parks right now?
How about giving Ginsler $800,000 to study the feasibility of that arena?
(I don’t think $800,000 buys an objective plan. I think an objective plan could be had for a tenth of that. I reckon for $800,000, you get a feasibility study that says what you want it to say.)
Those things might not add a lot to your tax bill right now, but don’t they illustrate the City’s “If you build it, they will come, and to hell with the taxpayers” attitude?
How may other debts has the City taken on with no concern for the taxpayers?