As some of you may have noticed, I have been working on infographics lately. Today I offer you the first in a series of The Economics of El Paso – It’s All Good. I hope you realize that “it’s all good” is a play on the city’s marketing slogan because the reality is that El Paso’s economy is suffering from the abuses of the public policy agenda initiated by Ray Caballero and sustained by those Foster and Hunt enable into office.
In today’s installment, I present to you a 20-year chart comparing property tax debt on a per capita basis in relation to the city’s unemployment rate. It is important to note that the tax debt represented here is only the debt issued by the city that is directly supported by property taxes. Examples of these is debt issued as certificates of obligations and quality of life bonds voted on by the voters. The figures do not include the revenue bonds the city issues that are tagged to specific revenue sources other than property taxes. For example, the ballpark bonds are not included in these figures. Other bonds that are not included are the bridge revenue bonds and the Plaza Theater as those are revenue bonds paid based on revenues from specific activities.
I will add those bonds as soon as I am able to gather the data sets for each.
However, it is important to remember that the revenue bonds, although not paid for directly by property taxes are indirectly paid for by property owners through the use of specific services. In addition, property owners are ultimately responsible for all of the bonds as the city is very unlikely to not shift monies in the general city funds in order to make payments, in case the revenues are below the projected amounts. These shifts may result in shortages on city services that would necessitate raising property taxes to offset.
As bonds are issued as a result of public policy agendas, I have included the mayors in office as well as the hiring of Joyce Wilson, as the city’s first city manager.
I have also included the amount of property taxes assed each year from 1993 through 2013. For informational purposes, I also included the per capita income from 1993 through 2012.
As I continue to compile additional data points, I will create more infographics comparing the different data points.
In the meantime, I am interested in knowing your thoughts on the information I present here.