The following paragraph appeared in the El Paso Times December 8, 2015 attempt to impose moral rectitude on City Hall, penned by reporter Cindy Ramirez:
The money to repay the ballpark debt is coming from a hotel-motel tax increase approved by voters in 2012, and not from property taxes. Stadium rent by owners of the Chihuahuas, sales taxes, and ticket and parking surcharges also contribute to the repayment of the debt.
The paragraph sticks out because it’s only tangentially relevant to the story. Also, it’s a lie.
Here’s a paragraph from an April 11, 2015, story by El Paso Times reporter Diana Washington Valdez:
El Paso taxpayers had to make up for a larger-than-expected shortfall in projected revenues for Downtown Ballpark’s first-year debt, according to an analysis of city figures.
Two years ago, the city had projected a shortage of about $627,000 for fiscal year 2014, when the city-owned ballpark opened, to be covered by the general fund. Instead, the shortage was about $977,000.
The general fund includes money from property taxes, sales taxes, city fees and other revenue sources available to the city.
Somehow the El Paso Times hasn’t reported on last year’s ballpark’s revenue. Maybe the numbers aren’t available yet. But if the El Paso Times’ collective memory is so selective, I wouldn’t expect much from them in the future.