Each year during the tax season, the politicians argue that either you voted to tax yourselves or you need to invest in yourselves for economic prosperity. Some even argue that they are not raising taxes. The tax debate is always purposely confusing because of nebulous pronouncements of tax exemptions, rising home values and the use of valuation per $100 designed to make it difficult for you to figure out the true cost of taxes. Instead of giving you a true representation of how much you pay in taxes, the government entities give you averages and a calculation based on a metric per $100 valuation that requires a mathematical formula to understand.

I have written numerous times how the current public policy agenda is designed around the notion that taxing is the only way to economic prosperity. Today, I am going to illustrate in the simplest way possible what that means to you in actual tax dollars.

The largest proponents of the public policy agenda of prosperity through taxation are the City of El Paso and the County of El Paso, including its surrogate, the University Medical Center (UMC). So what do these taxing entities really cost you?

According to Zillow, one of the largest online real estate listing services, the average price of a listed home in El Paso today is currently is $153,900. So let us use that figure as our example of what an El Paso taxpayer paid in property taxes over the last three years and what the proposed taxes for next year will be. The State of Texas offers a $25,000 tax exemption, therefore the tax value we will be working with is: $128,900.

City of El Paso: $874.43
County of El Paso: $558.30
University Medical Center (UMC): $276.35

City of El Paso: $902.02
County of El Paso: $583.52
University Medical Center (UMC): $276.35

City of El Paso: $904.62
County of El Paso: $583.52
University Medical Center (UMC): $284.46

Proposed 2016:
City of El Paso: $979.20 ($0.759656)
County of El Paso: $587.95 ($0.456126)
University Medical Center (UMC): $302.21 ($0.234456)

The figures for 2016 are based on the proposed tax rate each entity has proposed for next year.

From 2013, the City of El Paso proposed tax rate will have you paying $104.77 additionally each year. For its part, the County of El Paso will cost you an additional $4.43 each year. UMC, will end up costing you an additional $25.86 annually. That is $135.06, or almost $12 each month that comes out of your pocket book.

The City of El Paso promised you that if you invested in downtown redevelopment and the ballpark it would alleviate your tax burden by moving the burden away from the homeowner unto the business owner. Oscar Leeser’s administration has been championing new businesses. With all of that, how has tax relief worked out for you?

The County of El Paso has promised you tax relief by investing on medical clinics, a medical campus and jail reform. How has that worked out for you?

Veronica Escobar has promised you, from the onset, and more recently that the El Paso Children’s Hospital would be an asset to the community and would not be a tax burden. How has that worked out for you?

Tomorrow, I am going to go into much more detail comparing your tax rates to those in Orlando to further illustrate for you the failure of prosperity through taxation.

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...

5 replies on “Whatever Happened to Tax Relief?”

  1. Either people don’t care, gave up hope or just intellectually challenged and believe the taxes are really good for everyone.

    If the plan is to use taxes to rebuild El Paso and use taxes for everything, why not close down all profit making entities. We don’t need them. Then for the nonprofits, we wait for the city and county sell the idea that taxes are good for supporting no work addicts and anyone that is looking for freebies.

    El Paso, land of taxes ? El Paso, the non workers of America ? El Paso, the free loader city ? Just checking for more titles for El Paso since the Times found another bs title to make us feel good and convince us the pols are doing a great job.

    A rigged roulette wheel would give you better odds.

  2. $12.00 per month. Add in the $20.00 per month that EPISD wants to add with their bond and you have $32.00 per month for the homes in the district.

    Now let’s do the math.
    Per there are 109,000 households in EPISD. states that the city of El Paso has 218,127 housing units so the 109K seems about right.

    So…let’s take 109,000 homes x $32.00 per month. That is $3,488,000.00 dollars that WILL NOT be spent in the local economy. That’s 3 million that wont be spent at local restaurants, shops, entertainment venues….. baseball games (note that ticket sales for playoff games are slow) and for some, that is their copay for medication.

    Our taxing entities within EPISD are now proposing to take $41,856,000.00 out of El Paso’s economy next year.

    How is this supposed to spur economic activity????

  3. The only tax relief I read about is what the city gives to developers. If you “developed” your home with an addition, do you suppose they’d give you a tax break on the addition? Maybe if you used it for a B&B? Maybe if you spread $100K or so around city Council?

  4. We all missed it. The tax relief was for them not for us the taxpayers. I should run for some special office. I would start by capping these high end salaries to have everybody understand how the common man-woman feels when they are steady chipping away at the little savings most in el paso have while the rich keep on separating themselves from everybody else by building higher and higher on the mountains.

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