EL PASO, Texas -- A 12,000-page petition delayed a vote on the more than $354 million certificates of obligation bond that University Medical Center requested for upgrades and improvements.
County commissioners were supposed to vote on whether to issue the $354.7 million bond on Monday, but the petition stopped the vote. The County Clerk's office has to review and verify 25,164 signatures to confirm if the petition is valid. If the petition meets the requirements, the commissioners would not be able to approve the bond. Instead, El Pasoans would have to approve the bond in an election.
Doctors with UMC and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center of El Paso were at the meeting in commissioners court and pleaded their case for approving the bond.
“The request will have a significant impact on our region by increasing the number of jobs in our community, boosting our local economy, and providing much needed healthcare resources to support and treat our community members.”
If approved, the bond would increase the property tax for El Pasoans by $56.76 for every $100,000 of property valuation.
El Pasoans opposed to the bond say the increase in taxes would negatively impact them during the high inflationary period.
"It's still too early for certificates of obligation and the bond. Being that a lot of, and the pandemic, there's a lot of people having a hard time, even going to the groceries, paying bills, paying gas," Ana Dueñas, an El Pasoan who opposes the bond, said during the meeting.
If the bond is not valid, commissioners will vote on the matter at their meeting on Oct. 3.