Are you getting value from your city tax dollars?
I mean, really. Is the city doing anything for you besides providing the occasional traffic ticket? If City Government disappeared tomorrow, would you notice?
The libraries are already shut down. The public pools are closed. It would take a while for the grass in the parks to grow so high that it needed to be cut. I think the sprinklers are on timers, so the grass wouldn’t die right away.
If you own a house in El Paso, you pay thousands of dollars every year to the City. What do you get for it?
Public safety? We’re pretty safe without the services of the police and fire departments. For what we pay the City in taxes, we could hire security guards and private fire departments, or buy guns and hoses. We could pool our money to create an insurance fund, to replace our neighbor’s house if it burnt down.
The zoo’s nice, but it’s closed, too.
Besides, you have to pay to get into the zoo. Even though it’s ours. Even though the zoo is supported by our tax dollars, the City of El Paso still charges you to enter.
Like the public pools.
Your tax dollars apparently don’t cover the Operations and Maintenance of the public services you might use the most. So the City charges you to use them. Even though you already pay for them. Even though you, a citizen of El Paso, own them.
The charge you cover to use your own facility.
Like that house you paid for and thought your own outright. The City still charges you rent every year. They call it Property Taxes.
The libraries are free. For now.
Remember, the City owns the ballpark. You take your family to a ball game, you’ll be lucky to get out of the ballpark for less than $100. Real lucky.
They won’t let you bring burritos to a ball game, or soft drinks, or beer. You go the the ballpark and you have to buy $8 hot dogs and $8 beers. And the City has to kick in money every year to pay for the ballpark bonds. Remember when the Hotel Tax was going to make tourists pay for the ballpark?
That was then, and this is now. The tourists aren’t the suckers anymore. You are. I guess you were the sucker when they pitched the whole proposal, anyway. The whole time. They City’s been playing the taxpayers for suckers.
You. The taxpayer. Sucker.
Do you think the City will charge an entrance fee to get into the Children’s Museum? You bet your ass they will. City building, city land, and you’ll still have to pay to get in. Maybe the school districts will take student excursions to the museum, but you’ll pay for that, too, only you’ll pay it via your school district tax.
And the money you pay the City every year, the property taxes and entrance fees, is money you don’t have for other things. Like taking your family out to eat, or to the movies. Like saving for your children’s college. Like fixing your roof. What could you do with the money you pay the City every year in property taxes?
Why is the City in the entertainment business? Why is the City competing with local businesses for the citizens’ disposable income? Why is the City spending tax dollars to compete with private enterprise?
Maybe you’re thinking about moving to one of the unincorporated areas outside the City Limits. Or maybe you’re thinking about moving to Socorro, or San Eli, or Sunland Park. Santa Teresa. You’d pay less in property taxes, and still get to use the same facilities in El Paso. Still pay the same Entrance Fees. Still get stuck paying the same cover charges, without the burden of our local property taxes.
So what’s the City’s Value Proposition? What makes it worth it to live here? To pay the local property taxes?
The sunsets? The culture? The food?
Short commute times?
Those are all great things about El Paso, but City Government doesn’t have much to do with any of those. How do they get away with charging us for them?