Times Change

Lookie here. That chart at the top of this article shows the difference in taxable property values from 1999 to 2017. From 2004 to 2009, El Paso enjoyed big increases in property values every year. Even double digit growth a couple of years.

But for the last five years, property values have been pretty flat, barely keeping pace with inflation.

Even if our city fathers had the best of intentions when they were making plans to sell us all these “quality of life” improvements, they’d have to admit that things have changed.

I wonder why none of them are stepping up to acknowledge that.

Why are we pursuing a plan that was concocted in 2005? Why are we so het up to build a $180,000,000 arena right now? We voted on those Quality of Life bonds when we were fat and sassy. We’re not anymore.

If this were war, we’d fire all the generals.

Last year the City’s share of property tax rates went up four cents. That 5.2% year on year growth. Electricity’s up. Water’s up. Fees are up. Are you making that much more money?

If we have to have that arena, can’t we wait till we can afford it?

Buying things on credit that we don’t need and can’t afford is not the El Paso way.

Except for government.

(Those charts came from a presentation the Interim Director of Financial Operations gave to City Council on January 23.)


  1. Have you seen like.. every retail store in El Paso in the weeks leading up to Christmas? Buying stuff on credit is a very El Paso thing to do. That’s one thing that the City manager called us out on when he just arrived saying something to the effect that he had never been someplace where people were so bad at telling the difference between their needs and their wants.

    That being said, this is why we are stuck following through with those plans from 10+ years ago. Just go to any community meeting and listen to the whiny neighborhood association folks who can’t seem to understand that just because they want it doesn’t mean they can have it. Better yet listen to them whine about how “they pay their taxes too you know” and then point out how ridiculously little we each pay in taxes relative to the cost of just about anything other than filling in a pothole. One time someone at “The City” told them that they could get that shiny new park, swimming pool, arena and in their minds it is written in stone and can’t possibly ever change except maybe to add money to the project (westside pool I’m looking at you).

  2. Chuco Geek – congrats, you just hit a grand slam. R W – you are correct in that we do need to fire all of the generals, but there’s one general we need to hire…..you. I FINALLY got around to mailing you a campaign contribution. l’m guessing that you should get it within the next 48. Do us a favor, not if but WHEN you become one of our City Reps, promise us that you’ll make us proud ! Now that l think about it, l don’t care if you embarrass yourself every single day and twice on Sundays, just try and put the kibosh on all of this wreckless, out of control, self destructive spending !

    1. I am sure I will embarrass myself. But I’m okay with that. Thanks for your support.

  3. how the accountants arent quitting for signing the books each quarter is beyond me. bankruptcy looms as no one talks about the very large population of 55 and over cops and ff and first responders whom will retire soon. Hitting the pension fund hard. Wonder if it is really solvent.

    1. The greying of America. Can’t pay your pension obligations? Go bankrupt. Ask Detroit, Stockton, Ca., Vallejo Ca., just about any place in Illinois and the list goes on.

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