The price that El Paso Electric must pay the city for use of its streets is going up by more than $5 million – to a grand total of $27 million.
El Paso City Council approved the increase Tuesday on a 6-2 vote. The $5.6-million – which amounts to a 1-percent hike in the utility’s franchise fee – will be passed on to utility customers who live within El Paso city limits starting in May.
What happened is that, because of the new lower federal corporate tax rate, El Paso Electric had to reduce the rate they charged consumers for electricity. Your city council representative thought that the city should get a slice of that rate reduction.
Here’s a list of the representatives who voted to raise your taxes:
District 3 Representative Cassandra H. Brown
District 4 Representative Sam Morgan
District 5 Representative Dr. Michiel Noe
District 6 Representative Claudia Ordaz Perez
District 7 Representative Henry Rivera
District 8 Representative Cissy Lizarraga reportedly missed the meeting, though the El Paso Inc. reported that the vote went 6 – 2.
The ordinance was signed by Mayor Dee “Hold the Line on Taxes” Margo.
Of the representatives who voted for the tax increase, only District 6 Rep Claudia Ordaz Perez is up for reelection in November. Dr. Michiel Noe has termed out. The rest of the representatives who support higher taxes won’t face the voters till 2020.
This article was corrected to show that the next election is in 2020, and not 2022.