Of all the candidates who received megabucks from the Oligarchs on the West Side, incumbent Claudia Rodriguez of District 6 stands out for her mendacious claim: “Claudia has never voted to raise your taxes.” You can read this in most of her campaign materials, including the attached text message she sent to her constituents today.
Rodriguez is lying.
As I wrote in my recent guest column for the El Paso Times, she voted to raise our property tax on August 24, 2021. Under agenda item 7, she voted with six of her colleagues on City Council to ratify the property tax “increase reflected in the annual budget for FY 2021 – FY 2022.” Joe Molinar was the only city rep who voted “nay” against the tax hike that day.
Yes, the rate was kept at $0.907301 per $100 of valuation, the same as the previous year, but because of the increase in property valuations, this was a tax increase and City Council understood it to be exactly that, and so did the press.
Shortly after the vote, Erik Elken of KVIA published a report titled “El Paso property tax rate stays same, yet home owners pay more.” He stated correctly that “although the property tax rate did not increase, El Pasoans will be paying more in taxes.”
Anthony Jackson of the El Paso Times published a similar report explaining that “the average market value of single-family homes within El Paso County limits increased by more than 10%.” Thus, even though the tax rate remain unchanged, most El Pasoans faced a property valuation increase and thus paid a higher tax than the previous year.
In the main body of her text message, Rodriguez brags about holding the line on the tax rate, as if that matters in the slightest!
She then plunges into the gutter, calling her opponent Art Fierro a “failed career politician.”
ART FIERRO VOTED TO LIMIT THE ABILITY OF TEXAS CITIES TO INCREASE TAXES
Yet in 2019, when Fierro was a Texas House Representative, he was one of 26 Democrats who joined 81 Republicans in passing Senate Bill 2, which keeps Texas cities from growing their property tax revenue, excluding new construction, by more than 3.5% in any one year.
Fierro has promised that if elected City Representative of District 6, he will never vote toraise our property tax.
This is the same promise that Rodriguez made in 2019 when she first ran for office. She broke her promise in 2021, but Fierro is an honorable man and the people of District 6 can trust him to keep his word.