Class Action Suit?

Here’s a story from

A lawsuit by former state Rep. Joe Pickett alleges the city of El Paso is hiding tax increases in water bills, using a fee that purportedly is to pay for damages to streets caused by the city’s own sanitation trucks.

. . .

“You need to be transparent and tell me that part of my taxes are raised by taxes. But charging a fee on the garbage bill and not telling me what it’s for is not transparency,” said Pickett, who served on City Council in the early 1990s and then in the Texas House of Representatives from 1995 to 2019. “That’s not truth in taxation and I think the city is so wrong, I think they’re illegally charging and collecting fees that should be notated as taxes.”

The city has not responded to a request from El Paso Matters for comment on the lawsuit, which was filed in October.

Mr. Pickett’s lawsuit asks for the City to excuse only him from the illegal taxes. I think that if Mr. Pickett’s lawsuit is successful, we should all file a similar lawsuit, as a class action lawsuit.

We could also ask for the City to stop taking part of our Electric Company franchise fee for their Impact Fund. The Impact Fund was to be the source of the $40 million that the City was going to pay Great Wolf Resorts to build a water park hotel here.


In a January court filing, the city said an employee signed for a copy of the lawsuit in November that was sent by certified mail. The city then lost the copy of the lawsuit, according to the filing, which went on to say the city denied Pickett’s allegations.

Yeah, they lost the copy of the lawsuit. I reckon the City Attorney’s dog ate it.

Is gross incompetence grounds for dismissal?


  1. Don’t you know that this hurts the feelings of Rep. Cassandra “Alternate Sources of Revenue” Hernandez?

  2. City staff probably thought it said “Classy-Action” lawsuit and threw it away, knowing that there is nothing classy about El Paso’s government.

  3. Joe Pickett, thank you for exposing this cover-up!
    Now, will someone please start a lawsuit to end the TIRZ scam on taxpayers?!?!

  4. This is only vaguely related to the topic, but TXDOT’s I-10 expansion downtown is back in the news, so here’s my 2 cents:
    OPPOSE I-10 Expansion in Downtown El Paso

    I OPPOSE TXDOT’s proposal to widen I-10 and add frontage roads from Copia to Schuster. The best alternative is the No-Build option.

    Instead, support the Northeast Borderland Expressway which will help route non-local traffic around the city. What percentage of traffic on I-10 in downtown is just going through without any interest in El Paso? I’d suggest at least half of the traffic would be eager for a bypass through Anthony Gap. Another way around El Paso is the Route 375, “Relief Route” that goes along the Border Highway.

    Please oppose expansion of I-10 and taking property and placing high speed traffic, with its noise, vibrations, and pollution, closer to low income and historical neighborhoods.

    Widening I-10 is not current best practices. Note that Progressive cities are not widening freeways and putting frontage roads downtown. In fact, they are doing the opposite.

    Please especially oppose creation of a “Deck” over portions of I-10. Who will pay for this? Taxpayers who do not want it!

    I request that Alternative B and Alternative F, be carried forward for more detailed evaluation

    At minimum, TXDOT should delay any further actions on the I-10 expansion until the Northeast Borderland Expressway is complete and you can reevaluate traffic patterns.

    You too can comment on this project at

    1. Judy, Judy, Judy,

      That whole project is all about building the deck so MountainStar can put a soccer stadium on it. This is a plan that’s been decades in the making. We can’t let common sense destroy it.

      Have you read The Master Plan?

      We’re not going to change their mind, but I recommend that we make them own it by complaining as loudly as we can.

      I think that when a person makes unilateral decisions under the rubric of civic advancement that benefit themselves and cost the taxpayers money that they should at least own it. But maybe I expect too much from my fellow human beings.

      Or maybe they’re a different species.

  5. Thank you elrichiboy…the best and only right comment about this I-10 widening is DON’T DO IT!!!!

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