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City Manager Proposes Property Tax Increase


POSTED: Thursday, July 1, 2010 - 5:47pm

UPDATED: Monday, July 5, 2010 - 6:31pm

The proposal is a 3 cent tax increase for every 100 dollars of the property's value.

"Basically to accommodate the growth in public safety," said City Manager Joyce Wilson. "That is the only area with any substantial growth."

At Mayor John Cook's 'State of the City' address at the Camino Real Hotel Thursday, he made it clear that city leaders have accomplished a lot in the past year. He also made it clear that blood must be drawn in order to adapt to today's economic pressures.

He called for extra funding in a move that will have homeowners paying more. The mayor says a property tax increase is the only way to keep the police and fire departments up and running.

"We cant afford any more reductions," Cook said.

The proposal will be presented to the City Council on Tuesday. If they don't approve the increase, Mayor Cook says that police and fire departments will have to make concessions.

"One of the other alternatives for us of course would be furloughs," Cook said. "But you know we don't really want to furlough police officers. We don't really want to furlough firefighters." The mayor added in his speech that their main goal is to protect police and fire pension funds. He said this year the inflationary impact for public safety employees was more than five millions dollars.

"We took a lot of cuts everywhere else to make sure these public safety investments are in tact," Wilson said.

Wilson said that if voters are unhappy about the tax increase they can present their plan on where else to make cuts. But right now she's optimistic that the council will protect what she calls core public services. She also wanted to end on a light note, saying that despite the economic hurdles that El Pasoans still face, the city has already overcome its fair share of obstacles.

"We just had this great state of the city address that people should feel very comfortable and proud of what's happening here," Wilson said.

Comments News Comments

We citizens are tired of city hall threats to cut police and fire funding, period! Your attempt to scare our citizens and our police and fire department by threat management is dispicable.

You have not recognized yet that the taxpayers of ElP are not a money tree free for you to pluck bear.

With respect, if all of you with the title manager on city payroll are such great managers, then stop whining and start managing. If you can't you don't deserve that good job and should be fired!

Here's a thought:
Imagine how smart & efficient the city would look if they lowered our property taxes each year because of expanded tax rolls.
Then the city manager might actually earn her salary.
A little lower each year.
Just a little. Give us some hope.
Give us a reason to stay in El Paso.

I'll bet you a pound of bananas that if Joyce's salary was tied to "How much she could SAVE each taxpaper", you'd see taxes go down.

El Paso is adding NEW homes, lots & NEW commercial to the tax roll every day to increase the total tax collected.
That growth & expanded services are what those extra dollars are for. Do not raise the property taxes on the rest of us because of expanded growth. The NEW property added to the tax rolls gives the extra money. Live beneath your budget rather than spend over it.
By the time we retire our property taxes are as much per month as our original mtge payments.

Why doesn't Joyce cut her Staff of 4 to 5 assistants, all of whom make more than $150,000 a year? Before this style of City Government was in place, City Manager, we did not have all these extra positions which cost the City roughly $850,000 a year (that is including Joyce's salary).

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