EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Among numerous candidates on your ballot, you will also find three bond propositions worth over $270 million that could affect how much you pay for your taxes.
City of El Paso Chief Operations Manager Sam Rodriguez explained proposition A is for a bond worth $246.48 million aimed for street improvements. Those improvements include reconstruction work on multiple roadways, sidewalks and traffic controls as well as connectivity projects on Airway, Resler and Montwood to help with congestion in high traffic areas.
Rodriguez said, if the bond is approved, the first project would be street connectivity and would start immediately.
For proposition B, Rodriguez explained, the City would take out a bond for $20.8 million.
This would be used for parks and recreation facilities such as an all-abilities playground, shade structures and funding of smaller neighborhood projects.
Rodriguez said, the location for the all-abilities playground has not yet been determined.
Proposition C includes a $5.2 million bond for a climate action plan.
Rodriguez said these funds would allow to put this plan in place to later develop projects to reduce the carbon footprint in the city.
Some of the sample projects he listed are: electric car charging stations, more planted trees, solar energy incentives and upgrades to public transportation.
Passing of these propositions would mean most El Pasoans would be paying about $5 more in taxes monthly, which adds about $60 more a year.
El Paso County Libertarian Party chair David Marino said he does not agree with the propositions because he believes El Pasoans are tapped out on increased property taxes and affected by inflation.
“With a median income, a household income of $48,000 dollars, I don’t think they’ll want any more taxes,” Marino said.
He also believes that the city should be taking care of these expenses within the yearly city budget.
“These are just basic responsibilities of the municipal government, so why aren’t these basic responsibilities already in our 1.16 billion dollar budget?,” he said.
Rodriguez explained El Paso City Council is already allocating $10 million dollars a year towards roadway improvements, but he said, they need at least $44 million to be able to upkeep the streets.
“We’re thinking of a 10 year rollout. We’re not going to go out there and borrow out the full amount on day one, it’s going to be phased out in a way that allows us to minimize the impact on the taxpayer if this bond were to pass,” explained Rodriguez.
He also said the $60 a year increase in taxes is the average amount and should be less in the first several years of the bond, if approved.
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