As you know, the City of El Paso has left its property tax rate unchanged for FY 2022, even as property valuations have skyrocketed, increasing the tax burden on El Paso property owners to a record high.

By contrast, today the County Commissioners Court voted 5-0 to lower the County tax rate for FY 2022 from $0.488997 per $100 taxable property value to $0.470181, a decrease of exactly 4.00%.

The County achieved this in spite of the fact that fully 70% of its budget is controlled by the state of Texas.

This is the second time in five years that the County has actually lowered our property tax burden (in FY 2018 its tax rate was lowered by 1.09%).

Thus from FY 2017 through FY 2022, the County tax rate will have increased 3.86% (from 0.452694 to 0.470181) while the City tax rate will have increased  12.9% (from 0.803433 to 0.907301), by more than triple!


Rep. Peter Svarzbein has voted for $504.8 million in certificates of obligation without voter approval since entering office and is therefore in the Half-Billion-Dollar Club with Reps. Hernandez and Rivera. Svarzbein also voted to raise our City property tax twice, in August 2017 and August 2019.

In a shameless act of hubris, a few days ago he sent an email to his constituents in which he stated that anyone who rejects the City’s current level of spending is acting in a manner that is “inappropriate and immature.” I refer you to the recent report in El Chuqueno for appropriate commentary.

Setting aside the question of whether a photographer is qualified to manage a $1.06 billion budget, Svarzbein’s statement is outrageous and it reflects his complete disregard for the financial plight of El Pasoans.

I guess this is what we can expect from the man who gave us the massive boondoggle that is the City trolley system, which loses at least $47 for each dollar of revenue collected.

I would remind Rep. Svarzbein that our country was actually founded by “inappropriate and immature” Americans who dared to challenge the taxation and spending policies of the British authorities.

I wish him luck in his upcoming political run for the County Commissioners Court. Given his abysmal voting record on financial matters, he will need it badly.


Please follow the instructions at the top of the City Council agenda and state your opinion during public comment on item 19 during tomorrow’s meeting.