Property Tax Increase Presented to City Council Tomorrow

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POSTED: Monday, July 5, 2010 - 4:28pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, July 7, 2010 - 10:23am

Tomorrow the city manager's office will present next year's budget. If it passes, your property taxes will go up. The city says it needs the extra money to balance its budget.

"I've never seen it as difficult as it is now," said Angelo Amoriello, owner of Amore Appraisal. Since the value of homes has dropped so low in the last few years, more people are calling him to appraise their homes so they can pay less in property taxes.

"People want to pay their fair share of taxes," he said.

City manager Joyce Wilson is proposing a property tax increase in order to balance the budget. With inflation driving up the cost of police and fire services, as well as other city projects, city leaders say that El Paso needs to make up the cost somewhere.

"They're probably wanting to make up for that shortfall, the different between where the values used to be and where the values are now," he said.

This property tax is going to be about $0.03 extra for every $100 of your property's value so let's do the math. So if your home costs $150,000 dollars, you'll probably end up paying about $999 in property taxes--or an increase of $50 a year.

"You've got to have good salaries if that's what its going for, for good people," said Alicia Arredondo, a taxpayer.

"We've been taxed enough, I think we should be looking at more revenues elsewhere to supplement that tax increase," said another taxpayer named Joseph Chenier, Jr.

If the council doesn't approve the vote, police and fire departments might have to make some serious cuts of their own. Here's what some departments in other cities have had to do:

In Albuquerque, police and fire associations are offering to skip a pay increase. In Austin, they deferred a 2.75% pay increase. Dallas is considering furloughs and a 5% pay reduction. Phoenix is already enforcing furloughs and a 1% pay cut has been proposed. And Tucson has also implemented furloughs.

"I look at it from my own situation," Amoriello said. "I would be willing to pay the taxes as long as I know I'm getting a fair shake at it."

But it's an issue that not everyone's willing to shake on.

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FY_2011_Budget_Message.pdf911.04 KB

Comments News Comments

Yes, Ms. Reiser definitely gets an "F" in arithmetic. For my house which was appraised at 134,500, jmy property taxes would incerease by 403.90 above what I already pay, which is right at 3200. Somebody get her a calculator!

So we don't have money to pay our police and firefighters. But we consider spending 20 million bucks to prop up an old smokestack? Only in El Paso, I guess.

You would think people in Public Office would have the knowledge, resources, & education to generate income for El Paso. Look at El Paso, County compared to other big cities in TX. Our property taxes are outrageous in comparison. Eventually people will no longer have a home in El Paso. It wont be because they can not afford the mortgage. Its going to be because they can not afford the property tax coupled with the mortgage. This is sad, but oh well who cares about poor communities any way right.

I think that the city manager needs to be eliminated. Why do we have a Mayor and a city manager. I think the mayor needs to step up and do his job that would eliminate the salary of the city manager and her staff freeing up some funds for the city budget. Why should the citizens and the police and fire take the hit. The fire department deferred a pay increase this past january to help the city out. Police and fire are here for the citizens and provide a big part of the city's revenue.

"So if your home costs $150,000 dollars, you'll probably end up paying about $999 in property taxes--or an increase of $50 a year."

Are you kidding? Where did Ms. Reiser get the data for her story? $999 in property taxees for a $150K house in El Paso? From my experience the tax bill for a house in that range would be more like in excess of $4000!

Correct me if I am wrong but I think your facts are more fantasy...

Anybody wanna buy a house....the taxes are still lower than the rest of the payment....for now!

Here's an idea most elected officials don't like; why not let the issue be decided by those of us who will have to pay for the increase in taxes. A governement by the people, for the people, of the people? Why not place the issue on the ballow? Those in favor and those in opposition will each put forth their positions and the people could vote on whether they wish to assume more tax obligations. I, myself, worry for my neighbors who can barely stand the present economic downturn.

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