A New Verse to the Same Old Song

Remember last week I asked “Is the City Paying Companies to Not Leave Town?

Well, Vic Kolenc of the El Paso Times picked up the baton and it’s worse than we thought.

An 18-year-old El Paso call center deserves to continue to receive city tax incentives because it has good jobs and pays city sales taxes for orders from throughout Texas, city and Borderplex Alliance officials said.

The El Paso City Council last month approved an incentives agreement committing up to $1.5 million in sales tax rebates to New York-based FullBeauty Brands over the next six years if the company retains up to 525 jobs at its call center at 500 S. Mesa Hills Drive in West El Paso and meets other requirements.

The company already has received more than $1 million in city tax rebates and property- tax abatements through two previous city agreements for the call center.

. . .

Mayor Dee Margo and Jon Barela, chief executive officer of the Borderplex Alliance, a regional economic development organization that helps the city recruit and retain companies, in a news release last month applauded FullBeauty for its new commitment to retain up to 525 existing El Paso workers and its plan to hire new workers.

Those people over there at City Hall continue to tell us that we need to support all their vanity projects so we can get businesses to pay a greater share of our property taxes, and then they pull something like this. And remember that it was the Borderplex Alliance that was behind all those vanity projects in the first place.

If our local government would stop spending money they don’t have, they could give us all a tax break. Or at least not raise tax rates.

FullBeauty’s plan to hire new workers isn’t exactly what it seems, either, according to the story.

Barela and Margo also noted that the company plans to hire as many as 500 more workers in the next three years. However, the company is only required to retain current jobs, not add new jobs, under the agreement.

FullBeauty’s [human resources director at the call center Alfonso] Espinoza said in a recent interview that the 500 new hires wouldn’t all be new jobs. Many of those would be people hired for jobs vacated through attrition and other reasons, and also would include seasonal jobs, he said.

Man, that’s a lot of bullshit to wade through.

Once again, we’re confronted with the problem of parsing the bamboozlers from the bamboozled. Did Mayor Margo really think those 500 employees would be new jobs? Was he just misinformed?

Or was he in on the con being perpetrated on the taxpayer?

Isn’t it terrible that we have to ask questions like that? That we don’t trust our city government?

And whose fault is that?


  1. Since when has the Borderplex Alliance been part of city government? That right there shows the level of corruption. It’s fine if they’re helping get companies to come here or to increase their work force but it’s not proper to work with the city this way.

  2. And once again locally
    owned businesses get zero “incentives”. What I’ve noticed, I may be wrong, is that most or at least many new “locally owned” businesses are ones who are taking advantage of the foreign investment law that allows green cards for wealthy investors who open businesses that employee ten or more people. I’m not for or against this, but these are not homegrown true local businesses.

  3. I’m sure you’ve read the Margo/Gonzalez guest editorial in the Times on Sunday. This is three card Monte on an industrial scale.

  4. Employee turnover each 6 months at most businesses at the fountains at farah is over 35 percent says Dick. No real employment figures to rely on. Wonder what their turnover rate is? Sell used cars. 50 percent markup

  5. My daughter has worked at call centers her entire adult life and has been at this call center the longest. She became supervisor within 6 months and actually enjoys it. My point is, she did not pursue higher education, like mom, and is doing the best she can. We complain about low paying jobs but we don’t put in our effort. I was fortunate enough to have lived through a time where college degrees weren’t necessary to succeed for the general population. These days, only R&B singers can make it without a degree.

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