El Paso Mayor John Cook spoke to the media today following the weekly El Paso City Council meeting. Cook wanted to clarify comments made to the El Paso Inc. and El Paso Times over the weekend regarding his possible vetoeing of the use of Certificates of Obligation regarding the financing of the construction of a new proposed downtown baseball stadium. Here are Cook's comments:
" We cannot use any property tax revenues for quality of life or economic development projects, you can use sales tax but you can't use property tax without going to the voters."
" on whether or not the team will be a benefit to el paso if we get a triple a team, I think it certainly would be. It's a quality of life issue that when people are evaluating whether or not they are gonna move to a city they look at those venues like that."
" my position has been consistent. The questions have been inconsistent. I mean if someone asks me a question about certificates of obligation, I'll give them specific answer on my position of co's."
" but you can't really ask me one question and interpret that as a position on another."
" I think the negotiations are going well both with the league and with purchasing the team"
" there's other sources of revenue that we have, for example the enterprise fund for the bridges is a possible source of funding. You also have additional sources of revenue that the city is going to be getting , which can be used- and remember HOT tax is only 70% of the equation, there,s the other 30%."
" but you're gonna have additional revenues that are gonna be coming in from parking, and the downtown parking garages, you'll also have fees that will be put on top of the tickets that you'll be able to get and other similar sources of revenue."
" you can always decide not to pursue what the council has done, they will actually be the ones to do that. To back off, if there was no team then it probably doesn't make any sense to do any of the other things."
" the city council has already taken the action to authorize the demolition of city hall, that's a done deal. They've already authorized the building of the stadium and identified all the funding sources including the alternatives to the HOT tax if that's not available."