[Our shrinking tax base isn’t a new thing. This article originally appeared on August 5, 2014. Since then, our city “leaders” have failed to address the issue.]
If you trust the El Paso Times as your only news source, you probably didn’t notice that commercial property tax valuations are down by $23 million, according to this story in the El Paso Inc.
Slow growth in El Paso’s commercial sector and a high number of protests filed with the Central Appraisal District have resulted in a net loss in the value of commercial property on the tax rolls for this year compared with 2013.
But [David Stone, the Central Appraisal District’s assistant chief appraiser] couldn’t explain the loss from last year’s value.
“The economy as far as commercial real estate goes is not doing real well,” Stone said. “But I haven’t analyzed what happened.”
Well, let me help you out. Most of the Juarenses who moved to El Paso at the height of the violence in Juarez have left, either returning to Juarez or relocating to someplace else. Fort Bliss is quietly winding down operations as our troops have pulled out of the parts of the world that look like our desert Southwest. And retirees are moving someplace where property taxes are low, as their incomes dwindle.
Welcome to the new normal. God bless all our city fathers who dug this hole we’re in. They meant well. They just weren’t as smart as they thought they were. They still aren’t. Can we take away their shovels?