Sales are Down

I’ve been out of town for a couple nearly four months, and lately when I venture out in El Paso, it seems like there aren’t many people around.  Is it because I’m used to cities with higher population densities?  Or have we been visited by the Rapture, unannounced?  (Sorry, dude, you didn’t make it either.)

El Paso’s sales tax receipts dropped nearly 5.8 percent last month compared to a year ago, if the Comptroller’s report dated September, 2013, means it’s for last month.

Is it because the building boom that had engulfed Fort Bliss is tapering off, or because our Juarense neighbors have judged that it’s safe to move home?  Or have they moved someplace else?

Is it too early to be alarmed?

El Paso County is down 5.7 percent, and the rest of the communities in the county are mostly worse off than the city.  Clint and Horizon are both off more than 20 percent.  Only Socorro showed an increase, up nearly 17 percent.  Are people moving out of Kern to take up residence in Socorro?

For the year to date, the city and county are up 2.7 and 2.5 percent, respectively.

Are people leaving because property tax rates are rising?

I’d hate to think we’ve saddled ourselves with all these costly Quality of Life amenities, and a ballpark, because we were intoxicated by transient phenomena that even then the adults in the room should have known weren’t going to last.

Maybe the last person to leave El Paso could turn out the lights, because, you know, the electric rates are going up, also.

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