City Rep. Isabel Salcido of District 5, who assumed office on January 8, 2019, is running for reelection. She is the only incumbent candidate who has voted repeatedly to raise our taxes, issue massive debt without voter approval, and dole out generous incentives to the Oligarchs. Her record is so abysmal that I had to take three Alka-Seltzers before I was able to write this report.
VOTED TO RAISE OUR CITY PROPERTY TAX THREE TIMES
She voted to raise our City property tax three times: on 8/20/2019, 8/18/2020 and8/24/2021. This last budget season she again failed to advocate for the no-new revenue rate. She was as mute as a brick at every stage of the budget process, but then at the very last second, in order to bolster her reelection campaign, she declared her opposition to the latest tax hike on 8/23/22, voted against it, and bragged about her fiscal discipline to the media. Elisa S. Perez of El Paso Matters exposed her hypocrisy in a hard-hitting report.
VOTED FOR EVERY CERTIFICATE OF OBLIGATION: $389,000,000A certificate of obligation is a debt instrument that can be employed by local governments without voter approval. Originally intended for dire emergencies, the FY 2022 Budget Book indicates that the City of El Paso is currently obligated to pay $762,613,542 in CO principal and interest, not including the $96 million CO issuance that was authorized on August 24, 2021. The latest data from the Texas Bond Review Board (p. 38) shows that El Paso has by far the highest per-capita CO debt in Texas, at $769 per person as of last year.
Incredibly, Rep. Salcido voted to authorize $100 million in certificates of obligation the day she was sworn into office, on January 8, 2019. She then voted for another $100 million on January 7, 2020, another $93 million on April 13, 2021, and another $96 million on August 24, 2021. She also voted on August 31, 2021 to override Mayor Leeser’s veto of this last issuance. Thus, she voted for all four CO issuances that came before her, for a total of $389,000,000.
VOTED FOR THE GREAT WOLF LODGE AND TIRZ 13
If that were not enough, Rep. Salcido voted on October 28, 2019 to support the Great Wolf Lodge deal, the most egregious assault on El Paso taxpayers in modern memory. City Attorney Karla Nieman had told City Council on November 13, 2018 that if the deal went south, the 2,313-acre land swap with Paul Foster would die with it. Not only did the swap go through anyway, but on March 17, 2020 Salcido voted to create TIRZ 13 on the land that Foster and his Dallas partner acquired, giving them a half-century of 75% tax property tax forgiveness on the more than 9,000 homes they plan to build there. That is hundreds of millions of dollars in lost tax revenue!LOVES THE “ARENA”Salcido is among the most fanatical supporters of displacing the residents of Duranguito, demolishing their historic neighborhood along with 12 buildings that the County nominated to the National Register of Historic Places, and erecting a boondoggle “Arena” there that will cost between two and three times its original price. She also supports the use of eminent domain to seize private property for what is clearly an entertainment project, which is immoral and un-American.
HELD FUNDRAISER AT THE MARGOS LESS THAN ONE MONTH AGOIt is super obvious that Salcido does not work for the people of District 5. As I reported earlier, she was hosted by Dee and Adair Margo at their home this past September 7 for a fundraiser that yielded more than $40,000 from residents of the Upper Valley and Coronado. You can see names of the elites who showered her with cash on the agendas of September 13 (item 16) and September 27 (item 13). Every resident of District 5 should be alarmed.
In summary, Salcido has an abominable record of voting for tax increases, issuing debt without voter authorization, and supporting wasteful projects that have raised our taxes and pushed our City ever closer to financial insolvency.
PHOTO CREDIT: CBS4