El Paso News

City says company tax incentives working for El Paso

(KTSM) - It's something that seems to bug a lot of KTSM viewers: tax rates continuing to go up for property owners while government entities give out tax breaks to companies.

But the City of El Paso says those tax incentives are moving the Sun City in the right direction.

"We're continuing to see a significant amount of growth and activity in the level of investment we're seeing from the private sector," City Economic Development Director Jessica Herrera told KTSM.

Herrera said that investmentlike the construction and revamp of Downtown hotels, the city's first new Downtown high-rises in decades, and the opening of El Paso's first Topgolfsimply wouldn't happen without the help of city tax incentives.

"When you see an incentive agreement come through, these are performance-based," Herrera said. "The dollars come from the project itself. If it was not but for the incentives, the project would not happen."

"Topgolf, for example," she continued. "The incentives don't start until the development is built and open for business."

According to city documents, tax breaks have spurred 82 local projects since 2014, resulting in about $1.6 billion in capital investment and more than 4,300 new jobs.

Herrera said the growth is also helping to drive up wages. El Paso is no longer listed as an "economically distressed" community by the Texas Workforce Commission.

According to the most recent numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median wage in El Paso rose from $12.70 per hour in 2015 to $13.11 per hour in 2016.

You can check out more statistics from the city below:

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