According the City’s FY2019 Budget, El Paso was poised to spend $19,814,987 on Economic Development in the 2019 Fiscal Year.
Almost $20 million.
What did we get for it?
The highest tax rates in the country? Higher utility rates? An increase in fees for everything from trash pickup to using the swimming pools?
(Okay, they doubled the fees for using the pools a couple of years ago, but you get my drift.)
For $20 million, we should get some Economic Development.
Let me note that these were projected numbers released when the proposed FY2019 Budget was adopted. The actual expenses may have been different.
According the the City’s 2019 Budget, in 2016 the City of El Paso spent $5,827,468 on Economic Development. In 2019, the City of El Paso planned on spending $19,814,987 on Economic Development, and of that money, $17,443,569 was spent on outside contracts.
From 2016 to 2019, the City’s Economic Development budget increased by 340 percent, and the money the City spent on outside contracts increased by 387 percent.
Now, I’m too busy to go poking through the City’s dumpster to find out exactly where that $17,443,569 the City spent on outside Economic Development contracts went, but I do have a Public Information Act request in. I’ll stay in touch.
Note that before 2016, the City spent no money on an Economic Development department, and enjoyed comparable or better results.