This morning, the City’s Chief Financial Officer Robert Cortinas made a budget presentation to City Council under agenda item 3 in which he recommended issuing zero debt not only this fiscal year, but also in FY 2025.

Thus, our City is on course to not raise our property tax or issue new debt for two years in a row, even though the City is obliged to issue $600,700,000 million in debt for the 2012 Quality of Life Bond, the 2019 Public Safety Bond, and the 2022 Community Progress Bond. (agenda backup, slides 72-73)

To meet its obligations to the voters, the City will have to issue $215 million of debt in FY 2026 followed by $188 million in FY 2027, which will inevitably result in a higher property tax, but such is the will of the voting public!

Under the leadership of Rep. Brian Kennedy, Rep. Joe Molinar, Rep. Art Fierro, and Mayor Oscar Leeser, the City has completely changed course and is now fully committed to exercising maximum fiscal restraint in order minimize the tax impact on property owners.

We are very pleased with the performance of Interim City Manager Westin and CFO Cortinas and appreciate their efforts to reign in spending, implement debt refinancing and defeasance, and cut government waste.

CFO Robert Cortinas and Interim City Manager Cary Westin

It the City decides to kill the arena, preventing the issuance of $128 million in additional bond debt, the taxpayers will save a tremendous amount of money and it will be far easier for Westin and Cortinas to manage the budget going forward.


Thankfully, the tax-and-spend “Cassandra Hernandez Coalition” on City Council is now in the minority. Not only did she vote to raise our property tax six times and issue a half-billion dollars in non-voter-approved debt, she publicly stated that the Central Appraisal District should increase our property valuations in order to raise more revenue for the City. She even suggested to El Paso Matters that the City should issue a new quality of life bond!

It is incredible to us that this train wreck of a City representative, who has been reprimanded for stealing from the taxpayers, is running for Mayor.

Judging by the thin turnout at her campaign launch on March 20, with Lina and Steve Ortega as her main backers, she will raise very little money and lose big in the November election.

We will have to tolerate her presence in our government for another 330 days.