POSTED: Monday, July 5, 2010 - 5:28pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, July 7, 2010 - 11:23am
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.
|FY_2011_Budget_Message.pdf ||911.04 KB|