As wait times go up at international ports of entry in El Paso, so may the possibility of your taxes.
With commuters having to wait between two to three hours to cross into El Paso, Mayor Dee Margo said he was worried people would decide to not come and spend money in El Paso.
“We don’t have the numbers yet, but I can tell you its going to be a hit to this community and to our revenue stream,” said Margo, who added 10 to 15 percent of the city’s local retail trade is from Mexican consumers.
The city sales tax accounts for 22 percent of the general fund. According to Margo, roughly 35,000 vehicles and 20,000 pedestrians cross into El Paso’s 6 international bridges and contribute to that revenue. If their business goes elsewhere, the city will have to find other ways to make up for that money.
“I’m not in favor of more tax increases whatsoever,” said Margo. “We have some serous obligations to fund, so probably we’ll have to make cuts.”
Those cuts could be in areas of public safety, streets, and parks, according to Margo.
In addition to the 3,600 trucks with an average cargo value of $212-million which cross daily through El Paso’s international bridges, Margo said thousands of maquila jobs could also be on the line on both sides of the border.
He believes the solution to this issue falls on Congress and rational immigration reform.
As KTSM reported, 750 agents have been re-directed from the ports of entry to help care for migrants.
On Wednesday, El Paso Congresswoman Veronica Escobar announced 100 bridge agents would be deployed to two sectors, including El Paso.