Why Your Taxes Are So High

Because the City won’t stop spending money.

While we’re catching our breath (this is, after all, an election year) the City is making plans to resume the fiesta as soon as the elections are over.

Like the new Downtown + Uptown boondoggle.

Here are the six focus areas of the Downtown + Uptown plan:

  • Celebrate Downtown Culture
  • Expand and Diversify Housing
  • Expand Economic Opportunity and Equity
  • Provide Transportation Options
  • Prioritize Public Investment in the Built Environment
  • Create an Implementation Plan

They’re a little short on the details, but you can tell their hearts are in the right place, if the right place is developers’ bank accounts.

I might feel a little better about all those goals if the City had ever shown any prior interest or aptitude in any of those areas. Now I think that they’re just blowing smoke.

And how about that “Prioritize Public Investment in the Built Environment”? How about, instead, Prioritize Reducing Public Investment So We Pay Less in Taxes Every Year? But that’s not a priority for the City. The City has lots of money. Unfortunately for you, their money is in your bank account. For now.

The city has another project on the burner called Onward Alameda.

The Onward Alameda Corridor Plan seeks to gather big-picture input from the citizens of El Paso and establish a long-term vision for the future of the Alameda Corridor area and how it should evolve in the coming years. A master plan establishes priorities for public-sector action while at the same time providing direction for complementary private-sector decisions. The plan and its guidelines serve as a tool to evaluate new development proposals, direct capital improvements, and guide public policy in a manner that realizes the vision and reflects community values and needs.

This corridor study area includes the 13-mile stretch of Alameda Avenue within the City of El Paso, from Texas Avenue to the city boundary, as well as 1.5 miles of Texas Avenue from Alameda Avenue to Campbell Street. The focus of the physical planning elements of the study extends approximately one quarter of a mile in either direction from the centerline of Alameda Avenue.

Did anyone notice that Alameda works perfectly good for the businesses that operate there? For the families that live there? There are few vacant lots along Alameda. Just about every store on Alameda is an independently owned small business.

Is the City going to fix that? Like they fixed downtown?

You know that their long-term vision includes short-term costs and long-term debt. And don’t think that the City is going to approve this plan and then sit on it till it makes sense. They’ll start construction as soon as the ink is dry.

The City wants to spend our tax dollars to price out all the independent mom-and-pops on Alameda.

All of this might be, might be, great, if El Paso were growing. If the economy was booming. If our taxes didn’t go up every year, if the City weren’t taking a bigger chunk of our disposable incomes every year. If we had real growth, we might need to manage it. But the only growth we have is debt. We should manage our debt, instead of pretending like we’re a booming metropolis.

Do you think that any of these plans are free? Don’t you think that the City is paying consultants to figure out ways to spend the taxes they haven’t even taxed us yet?

This is another salvo in the war the City of El Paso, the Chamber of Commerce, and MountainStar Sports Group are waging against El Paso’s small businesses, the working class, and people who live on fixed incomes.

3 comments

  1. Gentrification El Paso oligarchic-bureaucratic style…. No more downtown-uptown, please! However, I´d rather see money spent outside the downtown in neglected areas (as Alameda has been for quite some time).
    BTW, check the most recent (July 15, 2022) city campaign finance reports, especially incumbent know-nothing D5 Isabel Salcido, the darling of the oligarchs!! http://www2.elpasotexas.gov/municipal-clerk/CCElectionDocs/campaign%20finance%20reports/cfr-2022-07-15.php

  2. They don’t want to support independent business, their urban planning has to do with gentrification to send Mexicans elsewhere, how can they do such a thing when El Paso, has a majority Mexican origin population. So if you add, racism and class barriers with inflation, taxes are going to be high. Very good article.

  3. El Paso is headed toward bankruptcy, the only moderating factor is the amount of debt assumed per year. A new arena will accelerate the process, new “water infrastructure spending” is coming and won’t help. There is literally no end of money for grabs when people keep getting elected who have engaged in what can only be described as profligate spending. They give sweetheart tax breaks to wealthy corporations and saddle homeowners with ever-higher taxes year-over-year. City and county officials have only their interests in mind when they entertain the endless supply of big dollar projects, thinking each one will cement their greatness into the minds of the working class.

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