El Paso Matters has recently been investigating the critically important issues of debt and taxation. Elida S. Perez just published an excellent report titled “El Paso homeowners contend with sharp climb in property tax bills over the past decade.” She writes:

“The main driver of rising property tax bills since 2012 has been the city of El Paso which, depending on the school district, has been responsible for half to almost two-thirds of the total tax increase for average value homes, the El Paso Matters analysis shows. The city of El Paso now consumes a far greater share of the total tax bill on an average value home than a decade ago.”

Perez shows that the City of El Paso accounted for 26% of the property tax of EPISD residents in 2012, but that the figure now stands at 30.7%.

Since 2014, when Tommy Gonzalez became City Manager, the City property tax burden has risen 38%.

One of the property owners Perez interviewed, Perla Aguilera, has seen her tax rise by 43% since 2012 and has considered moving to New Mexico to find relief.

I have stated many times that capital flight to New Mexico is a growing problem that seriously threatens El Paso’s economy.

Meanwhile our City CFO, Robert Cortinas, has flat-out refused to divulge how $189M in recently authorized CO debt will impact our property tax rate in the future. Every time he is asked this question, he declines to answer, and the media have failed to press him on this.

We have the second highest property tax rate in America among the 50 largest cities, and we may soon surpass Detroit for the number one position.

But at least we have a Ballpark, four public waterparks, and a trolley!

And several City reps still want to issue more than $350M in additional debt to pay for a multipurpose G-League basketball arena…

Enjoy your day.