Every year the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and the Minnesota Center for Fiscal Excellence co-author a “50-State Property Tax Comparison Study” examining the property tax rates for the 50 largest cities in the United States. The most recent issue was published in June 2021 and covers taxes paid in 2020.
I compiled the data from these reports for the five tax years from 2016 through 2020 and plotted the rates for the five most taxed cities on a chart to see whether there are any trends. The rates I plotted are based on the average value of a home in each of those cities.
El Paso was number three in 2016 and then overtook Milwaukee in 2017 for the number two position. Each year since, El Paso’s rate has been ticking upward while Detroit’s rate declines sharply.
Based on the current trend, El Paso will overtake Detroit for the number one position by the end of 2023!
There are five taxing entities in El Paso: the City, County, UMC, EPCC and local school district. The City’s property tax rate has risen 38% since City Manager Tommy Gonzalez took office in June 2014 and now accounts for 29% of our total property tax burden. It has risen far faster than the rates of the other entities. In fact, the County recently lowered its tax rate.
Most of our City reps have voted for a series of recent tax hikes and our former Mayor, Dee Margo, who campaigned on “holding the line on taxes,” did exactly the opposite before he was thrown out of office by the voting public.
Now the City is considering placing a $399 million “Community Progress (to Insolvency) Bond” on the November ballot, and the County is set to vote today under item 8 on the agenda on posting notice for issuing up to $400 million dollars in certificates of obligation, which requires no voter approval, in support of expanding UMC.
Imagine if the City were to defeat me in the courts and proceed with issuing more than $500,000,000 in additional debt so that the Oligarchs can have their multipurpose arena!
Where does it end? With financial collapse and a possible Chapter 9 bankruptcy for our City.
Enjoy your day.