No one has ever bothered to calculate the total principal and interest owed by the taxing entities within El Paso County, so we analyzed the statistics on public debt published by the Texas Bond Review Board and found that in 2023 our local taxing entities, including all nine school districts, owe $6,657,902,167 in principal and $3,646,357,506 in pending interest for a total of $10,304,259,673.

Considering that El Paso County has an estimated population of 869,880 as of July 2023, that amounts to $11,846 for every man, woman, and child.

The City, including water and sewage, accounts for $3,109,787,000 (46.7%) of the total principal owed though it accounts for only 29% of our total property tax.

The debt principal of all nine school districts amounts to $2,814,940,887 (42.3%) of the total owed.

The remaining $728,174,280 (11%) are owed by the Hospital District ($356,115,000 = 5.3%), County ($252,658,018 = 3.8%), EPCC ($113,195,000 = 1.7%), two Water Improvement Districts ($9,028,000 = 0.14%), and County 911 District ($2,178,262 = 0.03%).

Please note that several of our taxing entities are planning major debt issuances. Our City will issue $601 million in voter-approved bond debt starting in FY 2026. Canutillo ISD is planning to put a $387 million bond on the ballot this November, and EPISD will go for $600 million. El Paso County intends to issue $150 million in non-voter-approved certificates of obligation and $350 million in general obligation bonds.

That is nearly $2.1 billion in additional debt principal; and if Socorro ISD issues $769 million in bond debt as it indicated last July and UMC moves forward with building a new Eastside hospital, our community will be on the hook for more than $3 billion in additional principal, launching our property tax into the stratosphere.

If we continue down this path and allow Cassandra Hernandez and her ilk to determine our fiscal policies, El Pasoans will emulate Detroit and flee by the tens of thousands, eroding our tax base and sending us into an economic death spiral from which we may never recover.

Here are the 2023 debt figures from the Texas Bond Review Board:


City of El Paso, including water and sewage, $4,634,465,631

Ysleta ISD, $1,637,898,694

EPISD, $1,419,350,548

Socorro ISD, $1,169,732,601

El Paso County Hospital District, $546,819,090

El Paso County, $315,753,608

Clint ISD, $203,962,013

EPCC, $173,316,601

Canutillo ISD, $100,621,365

San Elizario ISD, $36,371,092

Fabens ISD, $28,052,520

Tornillo ISD, $18,522,208

El Paso County WCI District 4, $10,574,703

Anthony ISD, $3,511,581

El Paso WID – Tornillo, $3,087,185

El Paso County 911 District, $2,220,233