I’ve got a math problem for you.
Don’t worry, we’re not giving grades, and we’re not asking for real numbers (or even imaginary ones).
Here’s part one, from the El Paso Times:
Homeowners might see a 5 percent increase to the city tax rate to help fund a proposed $895.5 million budget that includes increased police staffing and additional dollars for streets and bond projects.
City Manager Tommy Gonzalez presented the proposed budget for 2017-18 to the City Council on Monday, the first in a series of budget workshops this week.
The proposed budget represents a decrease of about a one-half percent from the current $903.2 million budget, but includes a proposed 4-cent increase to the tax rate.
So let’s see, a five percent increase in taxes for homeowners, but a one and half percent decrease in the budget.
Wait, there’s more. From a story in the El Paso Inc.:
Preliminary valuations of single-family homes by the El Paso Central Appraisal District remained little changed for the second year in a row, but values for apartments jumped 15 percent and commercial property by 7 percent.
So the budget is down, property values are up a little, from apartments and commercial property, and yet tax rates are up?
Here, lemme do a little ciphering here on the back of this bevnap.
By golly, I believe we’ve got fewer taxpayers!
How can that be? We’ve got a new Triple A ballpark. Downtown apartments. Boutique hotels. All those Quality of Life projects we’ve already done, like the Plaza de Los Lagartos, the zoo expansion, and a digital wall, whatever that is. And all those other Quality of Life projects in the pipeline, like that swell new downtown arena and the new swimming pools and that $10 million soccer field complex that’s costing us $24 million, bus rapid transit, and the trolley.
Someday, eventually, the City is going to have to admit that it’s been pursuing a failed policy. I wonder if there will be anyone left to hear them.