EPISD school board to vote on proposed multi-million dollar bond election

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Some taxpayers could see a rise in property taxes if a proposed multi-million dollar bond election gets approved.

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Some taxpayers could see a rise in property taxes if a proposed multi-million dollar bond election gets approved.

The El Paso Independent School District administration is proposing another bond election to be placed on the November 3 ballot.

On Tuesday, the EPISD school board will be voting on whether or not to call for the proposed $242 million bond election. Some board members said calling the election may put more of a financial burden for families who are struggling amid the pandemic.

“There’s an economic downturn due to the pandemic right now,” District 6 EPISD Board Member Freddy Klayel-Avalos told KTSM.

Klayel-Avalos said he’s on the fence about the proposed $242 million bond that would go towards upgrading security, LED lighting, and switching to refrigerated A/C for example.

“Personally, while I understand the various infrastructure needs are prevalent throughout the district, I think it would be extremely fiscally irresponsible of me to try and advocate for a tax increase right now when people are struggling very much. Some people can’t even make rent right now for example,” Klayel-Avalos said.

The District 6 Board Member said that tax increase would cost homeowners $4.79 more per month in property taxes if they own a home that’s valued at $100,000.

“Tax increases have already occurred, water, electricity, trash has increased. That $4 is part of an inherent issue that property owners already have,” Klayel-Avalos added.

Parents like Maribel Simpson said the proposed bond would be a benefit for students and teachers, “I think one of the things we can all agree on, we care about our kids, and the items on the proposal makes sense The conversion to the A/C will help the kids and the teachers be in a better environment, and it’ll help with water conservation in the area.”

The vote to put the bond election on the November 3 ballot ultimately comes down to the school board. However, Klayel-Avalos said different options should be considered, “I think there is a combination of funding sources that we can find, even if it meant dipping into our general balance fund which is money that’s already there. I’m confident that if we look hard enough, a substantial amount of that expense would be there. We don’t necessarily have to do everything at the same time. We could do it systematically.”

The meeting will be virtual and is set to begin at 10 a.m. To access the meeting, you can click here (Passcode: eeYSq8)

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