Most El Paso city employees will receive a one-time payment this fall from additional sales tax revenue in the fiscal 2021 budget.
Payments vary based on employee classification and length of service, and range from $100 to $600.
“It’s a great benefit for our city employees who are working extremely hard right now, not only dealing with the health challenges … but also the increased workload from all of the vacancies that are unfunded,” Chief Financial Officer Robert Cortinas said at a Monday work session.
I suppose we could have kicked that money back to the taxpayers, right? Aren’t the taxpayers dealing with the health challenges?
Or is there so much fat in the City budget that we can pay the overpaid City employees more?
In addition to the one-time payment, all city employees will be repaid the lost wages from the 1 to 5% pay reductions that were in effect from May 24 to Aug. 15. Employees will receive this pay adjustment Oct. 23.
The pay adjustment will “make employees whole in what they gave up in the form of those reductions,” Cortinas said.
The one-time payment and pay adjustment will cost the city $2.6 million, money that comes from additional sales tax revenue not included in the initial budget proposal.
The City has a longstanding policy of low balling receipts to justify tax increases. I wrote about it here, and here. Now they’re telling us that next year’s budget, which is less than a month old, underestimated sales tax revenues.
Are you getting the money that you have missed out on during the pandemic?
Of course not, because your income depends on how much money you are compensated for the goods or services you provide. Our civil servants get paid according to how much money City Government can squeeze from the civilian population.
How about all those City employees that were furloughed for the pandemic? The librarians and lifeguards. Are they getting their paychecks?
Those employees are on the front lines of the City’s contributions to Quality of Life for the average citizen. The only other interaction that most residents of El Paso have with local government is when they get a traffic ticket.
Remember, all those City employees are eligible for pensions when they retire, for the rest of their lives.
For the rest of their lives.
The libraries are still closed. The pools are still closed, except at the Country Clubs. You’d think that maybe the City would regulate that.
There is no clearer indication that City Government is a zero sum game of us and them. We’re subjects, not citizens.