Back in 2012, when our city leaders were selling their plan to pimp El Paso, those of us who raised our voices to protest were demonized.
Crazies, they called us. Naysayers. Malcontents.
Now look where we are. El Paso has the highest property tax rates in the country. Our population growth has flat-lined. What had been a trickle of people leaving El Paso has turned into a flood.
The advocates of all the glittery projects told us that embracing the high-dollar amenities would reduce the property tax burden on residential property owners and make commercial property owners pay a greater share.
In fact, the reverse has happened.
Businesses won’t move to El Paso because of the punitive tax rates. To encourage businesses in El Paso, the City reimburses them their property taxes. The city services that the rest of us pay for, public safety and street maintenance and those cursed amenities, the business owners get for free.
Of course, since the rest of us are paying more money in taxes, and taxes infiltrate the prices of everything that we buy, we’re buying less, so businesses are less successful. We’re trapped in a vicious cycle.
The only beneficiaries are the big construction firms.
The rest of us take it in the shorts.