Here’s part of a questionnaire the El Paso Times gave to Mayor Dee Margo:
17. Do you support tax breaks/incentives for companies looking to invest in El Paso.
Yes – They are needed to compete nationally when recruiting companies to El Paso. The tax rebates come from the project itself by the increased value created by construction improvements. Sales tax rebates come from the State, not the City. Property tax rebates are from the increased valuation of the property, not the city coffers. Therefore, these incentives allow El Paso to continue recruiting jobs without taking away from city funds.
And then here’s a slide from the resolution to provide economic incentives to Don Pablo’s Plaza Hotel Pioneer Park:
I know you may be reading this on your wrist watch, a la Dick Tracy, so let me highlight what’s in that first box there, “Hotel City Incentives”. It says
- Property Tax Abatement Year 1-10
- Property Tax Rebate Year 11-20
- 10 Year 50% Rebate on City HOT
- 10 100% Sales Tax Rebate
- Permit Fees Waived
And hizzoner said “Sales tax rebates come from the State, not the City.” Well, actually, sales taxes go to both the state and the city, so, likewise, rebates can come from both entities. But Mayor Margo has only had the job for four years. We shouldn’t expect him to know all the fine details of city finances, and obviously he doesn’t.
And how about that other item? The third one. “10 Year 50% Rebate on City HOT.” Don Pablo’s only going to pay half the City’s share of the Hotel Occupancy Tax? Wasn’t there a two percent increase in the City’s HOT rate to pay for Don Pablo’s ballpark?
Don Pablo’s only going to pay half of that?
Oh, the irony.
I guess the taxpayers are expected to pick up Don Pablo’s slack.
The incumbents Sam Morgan, Henry Rivera, and Cassandra Hernandez are all cool with that.
I guess we know whose interests they represent.