El Paso Post-Pandemic

The future will look different.

But let’s hope we’ve learned from the mistakes of the past.

For the past couple of decades, our civic leaders have focused on El Paso’s built environment. And it hasn’t worked out. Our population growth has flat-lined. Our property tax rates are the highest in the country.

Our streets are in disrepair. The City has carved out 12 Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones, so any development in the TIRZs won’t contribute to the General Fund. Additionally, they granted a lot of 380 Agreements that rob the City’s coffers of $17 million a year in property taxes.

And when things return to normal, whatever that is, the City’s revenues will be diminished. In the post-pandemic depression, sales tax receipts will be way down. Property values will probably be down, too, so property tax receipts will be restricted. We’re not going to be making what we were in hotel taxes, either, as economic calamity ripples through the nation and the world, and recreational travel falls.

We’ll still have Fort Bliss, and the border security apparatus to cushion the fall, but government wages can only carry us so far.

There will be a reckoning.

Don’t let our local “leaders” tell you it’s not going to happen. Don’t let them tell you we can ride it out. They’re vultures, willing to feed off the corpse.

Remember, they don’t love El Paso. They’re the people that told us we need to spend half a billion dollars to fix El Paso. They’re the people that obligated the City to take on $2 billion in debt.

It will take a generation to address El Paso’s fiscal profligacy.

They bankrupted local government, financially and morally. We can’t trust them to fix it.


  1. We will be known as The City that Is Not a Museum Piece (there aren’t any museums) and The City that Doesn’t Read…
    How will they promote tourism here when all the attractions are closed…for years? Here’s the reply to my messages of concern…the same from two different addressees now, so it must be a mandatory response:

    “The El Paso Public Libraries are currently closed due to budget constraints and health concerns, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Today at City Council, there was discussion on this topic and City Staff will be bringing forth plans on the possible reopening in phases.”

  2. What about the trolley? That’s El Paso’s secret weapon. Oh ye of little faith.

  3. Obviously, a lot of things will have to be closed and/or abandoned. Who knows? They might even abandon the stupid downtown arena! Wonder how long it will take for our streets to deteriorate to the point that they are mostly gravel and dust. Meanwhile, I would not be surprised to see our population begin to shrink noticeably, as people just give up and leave. And, yes, it will be the young, hard working ones who leave first.

  4. I was born and raised in El Paso, Texas, the pass to the north, now we have morphed to “Hell Paso, Taxes, the pass to the worst. El Paso still lives in a perpetual wild west political paradigm. The leaders like to try to aesthetically make El Paso look like a modern city by erecting over-sized “egg beaters” by Airway Blvd. as well as balloons in a basket to, I guess, to impress businessmen who they do their, lousy tax break land deals with. Instead of using tax payer money to gain prosperity for the citizens of El Paso, the use tax payer’s money for their own financial prosperity and the hell with the citizens. Just look at the Chihuahuas baseball stadium rip off.

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