It’s Not As Bad As It Looks. It’s Worse.

Surely (May I call you Shirley?) you saw that EPISD property taxes are going up by an average of $64 this year. From KVIA:

The average homeowner in the El Paso Independent School District will see an increase of $64.42 in taxes this fiscal year.

The rate is increasing from $1.23 per $100 tax valuation of a home to $1.31.

District officials say the increase is tied to the $669 million bond passed by voters in November.

But did you miss this nugget?

The average taxable value of an EPISD home dropped $1,580. In 2016, the average taxable value of a home was $113,485. In 2017, it is $111,905.

What? How can our home values be decreasing? Don’t homebuyers know that we have a Triple A ballpark, and we’re getting a trolley, and new signs in our entertainment districts?

If you factor in inflation, the real value of homes in the El Paso Independent School District fell by more than three percent.

That is not a sign of a healthy economy.

Of course, taxes are going up eight percent, so if you’re looking to buy a new house in El Paso, you’re still falling behind.

The misguided policies of our city’s “leaders” are killing El Paso. But they’ll keep squeezing till all the juice is gone.

Welcome to El Paso, Taxus.


  1. You do realize that average property values are not necessarily reflective of what existing home values are doing overall right? Without evaluating a) the accuracy of the KVIA #s, b) the data behind those #s, and c) what sort of margin of error exists you can’t really argue that anyone is “killing” El Paso. Hell we still have 4 months left in 2017, how does the KVIA average account for that?

    Also, there are a LOT more factors that correlate to house prices so it’s dishonest to more than double the difference in “real value” of homes based purely on inflation. Property values can be negatively impacted by increases in mortgage rates (which we have seen). Supply and demand can also impact home values. So all those new houses that builders keep building can increase supply and wow average home prices can creep down.

    If you consider that the actual difference in home values between 2016 and 2017 is less than $1600 or 1.4% you are really stretching to make the tax increases into a horrible boogeyman that is “killing” El Paso. Don’t get me wrong I am pissed that Mayor Margo campaigned on not raising taxes and then is talking about maxing out the tax increase they can do instead of looking at cutting services or telling departments (including PD) that they can’t get everything they want. I am pissed at all the idiots who voted in favor of the EPISD bond elections that were 100% certain to increase our taxes. That being said, it’s not the dingbats sitting on City Council who are to blame. It’s the whiny parents who demand multi-million dollar swimming pools. Or the dipshits who want super green and lush parks in the freaking desert. Hell I take offense at the MACI assholes who want to increase their project by a factor of 7. Why isn’t anyone raising a fuss that community leaders are trying to increase the Hispanic cultural center budget by 700% even if we never voted for that?

    There are so many places where the entire City of El Paso is fucking up and that includes residents, business “leaders”, and yes politicians but no one group is the source or all evil. It’s more like a horrible, slow motion train wreck being caused by a keystone-cops-worthy ballet of incompetence from everyone involved (including all of us who live in El Paso).

    1. I understand the difference in relative prices vis a vis inflation, but the way you measure a change in real prices over time it through measures of inflation.

      It’s not just property taxes that damage El Paso. It’s also the opportunity costs associated with spending half a billion dollars on non-essential vanity projects. It’s the arrogance with which the city’s “leaders” treat the citizens. It’s the brand value of the City of El Paso.

      And I didn’t single out the politicians for brainlessness. Brainlessness and self-interest are general and widespread. Our city’s “leaders” include the politicians, staff, and private businessmen.

      I always appreciate your insights and perspective. Thanks for playing.

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