Skip to Content

Tax Assessor-Collector Mails Pamphlet Using Taxpayer Funds

Campaign flier or public service announcement?

That’s the question after nearly 200,000 pamphlets inserted in water bills were sent out from the El Paso County Tax Assessor-Collector’s office at taxpayer’s expense.

With primary election day just two months away in the Borderland, it’s no surprise that the Democratic challenger for County Tax Assessor-Collector questioned the timing of the pamphlet mailing by 15-year Tax Assessor-Collector Victor Flores, who used nearly $14,000 of taxpayer money to do so.

“I think it’s critical to question why are we using taxpayer money in the total of $14,000 actually for political gain,” said Armando Rodriguez, the challenger for County Tax Assessor-Collector.

Rodriguez said the pamphlet, which has a big picture of Flores on the front, is nothing but a campaign flier.

“If you look at the name, the name is bigger than the picture,” Rodriguez said. “So it’s obvious that he is using taxpayer money for his own political gain.”

ABC-7 asked Flores if the pamphlet had anything to do with his campaign.

“Absolutely not,” Flores said. “It’s a public service announcement and it’s not the first time we put it out.”

The pamphlet makes no mention of the upcoming election, instead focusing on the county’s vehicle registration abuse program, which Flores said has brought a lot of money into the county.

“There’s no time frame for when you can send them and when you can’t send them,” he said.

That’s true. An El Paso Water Utilities spokesperson told ABC-7 it’s regular practice.

“They pay for it,” EPWU spokesperson Christina Montoya said. “We’ve allowed government entities to put inserts in our bills for decades. We got this particular request in June of 2011.”

ABC-7 asked Flores if the timing had anything to do with the election and he again denied it.

“I’d be telling you a lie, though, if I said it doesn’t have an advantage,” Flores said. “But it wasn’t meant for that purpose and that’s what I’m saying.”

So ABC-7 asked El Pasoans coming out of of the County Tax Office on Wednesday what they thought. All three who were asked the question said it did look like a campaign flier and were upset that taxpayer money was used.

“The taxpayers and the citizens expect something better,” Rodriguez said. “They want, especially in this time, someone to question these issues.”

ABC-7 did ask El Paso Water Utilities whether it would consider a new rule to not allow city or county officials who hold office to mail out pamphlets like in water bills during election years. ABC-7 is still waiting for a response. Both Rodriguez and Flores told ABC-7 that they think this rules is a good idea.

Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo



KVIA ABC 7 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content