vibrant-cityThrough many blog posts, I have been showing how your taxes will be rising soon and that there is nothing you can do about it. I’m not pointing out short incremental tax increases but a substantial increase in the amounts of taxes you will be paying in the coming years. The worst part is that the tax increases are just a stopgap measure to hold off the impending economic doom that is about to grip El Paso.

The politicians continue to rally around the notion that El Paso is on a renaissance ignoring the obvious signs of economic distress. In yesterday’s post, I shared with you how city council is actively glossing over the signs of the economic tsunami that is building up. Pretending that the bad economic indicators do not exist is the only thing left for the politicians, especially those facing an election in May. As I watched the city council meeting from 1,700 miles away; I could distinctly feel Tommy Gonzalezgrowing frustration with the politicians who forget that they cannot get Cadillac service at a Yugo dealership. Gonzalez clearly understands that there is not enough money to pay for the utopia city council is trying to build and it clearly shows in his demeanor.

In yesterday’s post, I neglected to share with you an important economic metric especially when it relates to taxes. RealtyTrac reports that in January, foreclosure filings for El Paso significantly jumped from December. According to the data provided by the housing data company, El Paso foreclosure activity was the highest in January since at least April of the previous year.

The data company reports that El Paso has a higher foreclosure rate than the rest of the state. As a matter of fact, the foreclosure rate for El Paso continue to rise.

It is no secret that the majority of the taxes contributed to the city coffers come from property owners. Most everyone understands that El Paso’s tax rates are among the highest in the nation. I have written numerous times how there is no real economic plan in place to create new sources of income for the taxing entities. Instead of developing a plan, the city government entities are embarking on placing even more debt resulting in even higher taxes.

As you know, the El Paso Independent School District (EPISD) bypassed the taxpayers and created a dubious corporation to float bonds to build their new administration palace, in their minds a building. What is important to note is that the Board of Managers clearly understand that the taxpayers are not about to give them the money to build a building they have no need for. If you look closely at the members that make up the Board of Managers you will clearly see where the idea to bypass the taxpayers came from. They learned it from the Joyce Wilson school of creating a taxpayer-funded company to bypass taxpayer accountability. The ballpark was built with the help of a dubious tax vehicle that bypasses any control by the taxpayers of the community. This is the same vehicle the EPISD will be using.

Let’s understand how this bypassing of the taxpayers works. Normally, the school district makes a list of new schools to build or that need to be repaired. They then create a budget and ask the voters for approval to proceed. In essence, the voters agree to be taxed for the work that is proposed. What the Board of Managers is doing is bypassing the permission to spend taxpayers’ monies while forcing the taxpayers to pay for it. Basically, it’s like me holding you at gunpoint and demanding you buy me some coffee at Starbucks. I deserve it to keep me awake to write this but it doesn’t give me the right to bypass asking you to feed my caffeine cravings.

The EPISD Board of Managers just put a gun to the taxpayers’ heads and told them to pay up for a palace from where they can lord over the taxpayers. Oh sure, there are all sorts of excuses about how urgent the whole thing is and why this is the way to go. There, of course, is the obligatory fuzzy math about how it will all equal out for the taxpayers in the end. Does this remind you of something that happened recently? I’m sure it does.

But it gets even worse for the taxpayers. EPISD has already warned you that it needs a significant amount of money, almost a Billion, yes with a “B” to close schools down and repair others. The Board of Managers realized they will never get the support for a Billion dollars in debt so they bypassed you for their palace and decided to let the incoming elected trustees to force the bond upon you.

The incoming trustees, led by Susie Byrd, are already positioning the bond election for November on the notion that the community does not want schools closed but that the children deserve the best schools possible and therefore we need to spend money. You may not be voting in May to allow EPISD to issue bonds but you surely will in November. That is, of course, if the incoming trustees haven’t figured out a way to bypass you with some other “corporation” scam. Carmen Arrieta-Candelaria may be on her way out but another Joyce Wilson devotee, Susie Byrd is on her way in.

As if that wasn’t bad enough consider Ysleta Independent School District’s (YISD) announcement that they will be asking the voters to approve $442.5 million in bonds for school repairs. At least they are going to the voters. Unfortunately, it doesn’t end there. In fact, it is only starting.

As you know, next week the county commissioners are supposed to vote on how to deal with the money that the El Paso Children’s Hospital owes you, the taxpayers. Make no mistake; the money that the children’s hospital owes is your money. Now this is where it gets interesting.

Notice how EPISD used a dubious corporation to bypass the taxpayers for their administration palace they are building for themselves. This is very similar to the way the El Paso Children’s Hospital is set up. It is a private company able to avoid having to respond to open records requests yet having the right to use taxpayer monies to build its own palace and owe you, the taxpayer, money as well.

Instead of dissolving the failed entity, the county commissioners are likely to vote on some convoluted plan to keep the hospital a perpetual drain on the taxpayers instead of doing the responsible thing. What happens when you fail to make your car payment? The bank comes by, takes the car back, and sells it to pay off what you owe.

Why can’t the taxpayers do the same thing with the hospital that has failed to make payments to you? Because it does not fit, the plan that is in place to feed the machinery that is driving El Paso into economic doom. On Monday, I’ll be sharing with you what the end game is for all of these tax shenanigans and the other ones yet to become public. I’ll also show you how the machine draining your pockets works.

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...

8 replies on “Further Proof That Taxes Are About Explode”

  1. I have already begun making plans on leaving the city once I am able.
    Liquidate the business, sell my home and move someplace where I wont have my property taxes increase every year like they have for me here.
    Sad that it has come to this. Instead of planning my future here in EP, I am planning my future so I can leave EP.

    1. I also am in the process of bailing. Going to Salem Oregon. One of the worst states in the country for taxes. However, my projected state income and property taxes in Salem will be substantially less than my property taxes in El Paso. The big plus is that I, as a taxpayer, will actually get something for my money.

  2. J said it perfectly.

    Let’s say you need a car. First you go see Oscar and check his price. Then you go down the street and visit Mike. Mike’s car is $2,000 less. Simply stated, Oscar is far more Simpatico, but you still buy from Mike.

    You may have money left over to go back to Oscar and buy him a coffee at Starbucks.

    However, Starbucks will deposit the money outside of El Paso.

    Kaynes said that when J liquidates and moves out, El Paso will lose 5 times the cash out.

    I say close the schools, sell them, and only use the money from the sale to repair those remaining.

    NO NEW TAXES (Like Tony Cobos said)

  3. The YISD Supt was quoted yesterday as saying that he does not consider taxes, only students and teachers. I saw it on KVIAs website and it was quickly removed and not to be found now. For a minute there he was channeling Joyce Wilson.

  4. When you run out of money, then liens or evictions start. Before you know it the Sheriff’s dept throws your furniture on the street and you’re homeless. It’s worse when the person is elderly and on a fixed income. In addition, the job prospects for them will be nil, can’t afford to get an apartment, perhaps have to give pet away.

    It’s a very real scenario. It happens often in other cities and regions. It CAN happen here. Taxes that are past due will be collected one way or the other. We can look like other cities for sure. We can inherit the Detroit look.

    As much as we love this city, we cannot continue the government spending spree and expect to pay by raising taxes, fees, surcharge or whenever. You can’t get a raise everytime the government wants more money. Nor we continue to allow the government entities to demolish and build at whim. Don’t be fooled by the bs pushing the idea that people and industry will move to El Paso and create more revenue.

    We can’t relive the past when the economy was great and there were hundreds of tourists stopping here to spend a couple of days partying in Juarez. For some tourists, Juarez was the closest thing to visiting a foreign country, But, no more. Juarez is being rebuilt as a cultural city not sin city which was the draw for tourists.

    The demolition of city hall and historical buildings was in it self the killing of a city. Ending the unique culture blend of TexMex. The Plaza was destroyed in a feeble attempt to make it into a mini Central Park. We need to stop trying to be other cities. They have their own identity and we should maintain ours. It would have been much better to renovate, repair and clean the city. Not to mention cheaper. We had so much to offer. There was nothing shameful about the city. Ever see people that used plastic surgery to look like yesterday. They never look the same again. The extra tight face lift, cat eyes, breast that are completely round not the smooth contour. Take off the blouse and you see the scars of of a tuck. You get the point.

    They have destroyed the beautiful and unique culture of TexMex. Now to add insult. They want every nickel you have to pay for the insult. What for, so the city can look like a woman or man trying to recapture yesterday’s youth. A well groomed person looks fine, let the city age gracefully. Just groom it. So when we have visitors, they will say ” what a beautiful older city with all the splendor of architecture that we don’t see in other cities “. Don’t we just love restored antique cars?

    I am most likely wasting time because they are determined to remake the city and tax the heck out of it. We have people that call antiques, old things. Never giving a thought as to why we have museums to display old things. They want weird shaped buildings and all 30 stories high. Never giving a thought that at some point, that style will pass. Then what, demolish again and what cost ?

    We finally catch a break at the pump and the first thing we hear is, now is the perfect time to increase taxes because we have money! Why can’t we keep our money to fix our homes, fix the old jalopy or take a vacation ? We don’t have the big salaries and benefits that they have. Do we have any low income people holding elected office? We have plenty of low income people trying to make a living. They’re the ones that feel the sting of “it’s only a dollar tax increase”.

  5. Infinity; you get it. CC doesn’t work for you. Look up their financing reports and you will see who they work for. Then don’t be surprised when you see hundreds of millions of dollars coming out of your pocket into theirs. But you voted for it, so you live in the prison of your making. Well, The Witch and her Flying Monkey helped.

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