I can’t imagine the City of El Paso keeping next year’s budget under an amount that won’t require at least a 3 1/2 percent increase in tax revenues.
Look at our upcoming expenses. The obligations from the new contracts with our police and firemen. The Children’s Museum. The water parks. The Eastside Natatorium. Operations and Maintenance for the swimming pool, the streetcar, and the ongoing debt service for the ballpark.
The Hispanic/Chicano/Latinx Cultural Center and Main Library makeover. Neighborhood Rec Centers. Sun Metro.
All the money pits we’ve built, or are planning on building, including the ones we don’t even know about.
And the City’s still fighting for the $250 million downtown arena. God have mercy on us if the City wins that lawsuit. Not only will we be servicing a $250 million debt, we’ll have to pay Operations and Maintenance on that white elephant as well.
And what if the citizens are duped into financing that half a billion dollars for Public Safety bond?
With stagnant population growth, and moribund economic development, the money for those expenses will have to come from our existing properties.
Which means that the City will likely exceed the 3 1/2 percent rollback rate, and petitions will trigger a rollback election, which will likely succeed in forcing the City to come up with a new budget.
At which point, the City will likely hold us hostage.
“What do you want me to cut?” the Mayor often asks.
Public safety? Street maintenance?
How about all those useless vanity projects that much of El Paso has been railing against since their inception?
I suspect it will get ugly.