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El Paso City Council votes to keep property tax rate at same level

Editor's note: A previous story mistakenly reported a proposed expense would be $250 million when it was $250,000. The updated version also includes more detail on the vote and the proposed budget.

El PASO, Texas -- El Paso homeowners struggling finacially during the pandemic can rest assured their property taxes will not go up.

El Paso City Council during a special session on Monday approved unanimously next year's tax rate, and it will remain unchanged.

City staff recommended the tax rate stay at .907 for every $100 of the assessed value on all real, personal and mixed property.

Meantime, the budget is looking very tight for the city amid the ongoing economic impact of the Covid-19 outbreak.

City Manager Tommy Gonzalez recommended covering the priorities like street maintenance and police and fire budgets while setting quality of life projects aside.

Even keeping the same tax rate, the city is slated to get nearly $5 million in new revenue as property values went up by four percent, which will bring more money into the city's coffers.

City staff recommended putting it all in a stability fund, basically a rainy day fund, and Mayor Dee Margo agreed.

"No telling what's going to be around the corner, we don't know how long this pandemic is going to take,” the mayor said.

After that discussion, council did vote 7-to-1 to follow staff recommendations to allocate $200,000 for a Neighborhood Traffic Management System and double the yearly discretionary funds for each city representative from $5,000 to $10,000. In her motion, Representative Alexsandra Annello also included a proposal to allocate $250,000 for a comprehensive constituency program, an IT system to track taxpayers' concerns. Rep. Claudia Rodriguez cast the sole dissenting vote.

A city spokeswoman told ABC-7, "Of the remaining $4.2 million in surplus property tax revenue, the council voted to use about $1.9 million to balance the general fund, instead of using budget stabilization funds." The remaining $2.3 million in surplus will go into the stabilization funds. "The stabilization fund balance is at $11.6 million. It was created in March to offset future tax rate increases or for emergencies," Laura Cruz-Acosta said.

A final vote to approve the budget is set for August 18. A public hearing is scheduled for August 11.

You can watch the entire 90-minute council meeting in the video player at the bottom of this article. And below you can also see the budget and tax presentation document that council reviewed and discussed prior to voting.

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KVIA ABC-7

Comments

32 Comments

      1. Get out of your bubble Alberto. What a moron. Cops are out working. They are essential workers. You are non-essential. A section 8 welfare queen loser. BTW – What’s closed?

        1. Will Alberto please stand up! Lol. Someone bring out a violin so it can play along the same ole Alberto, welfare, section 8, vista Del sol, ridgemar, etc. lol. Trumptactics…… dumbfounded. Alberto where are you?

      2. Why are you against law enforcement, the military and Border Patrol? Are you hiding something?

        You are only happy because my taxes pay for your Section 8 apartment, food stamps and medicaid.

      1. Why are you against educators? Oh because you aren’t educated. Bet you are a sly government to titty feeder. Ouchy, my knee hurts. Up 10%. I hurt my pinky. Need surgery. Up 2%. Keel sucking the system uvacowboy. Don’t forget to claim faulty ear plugs.

    1. My daughter had online classes and tests from March until the end of the school year. Going virtual doesn’t mean they were closed. I recommend going to the EPISD website and learn about it. I did.

        1. And yet the brave men of the 101st and 82nd Airborne were responsible for the bridge to far. History, comrade turner is not one of your virtues. There are still Hispanics and white soldiers still living right here in El Paso that were there to make it possible for you to spill your unwanted venom here. You know the First amendment?

      1. I would say that most of our teachers were working HARDER after the closures. They had to QUICKLY change how they taught, how they planned, how they shared information, how they assessed students, how they did everything. Most teachers have good technology skills, but like all of us experienced, going to a 100% virtual format was a huge challenge. They stepped up and did a good job. That being said, kids still need to be IN school. There’s more to school than just the form of the delivery of instruction.

  1. Unilateral property value increase. Riiight. That’s how they’ll do it. Thanks to the fellows above for pointing that out. Boy, the wheels are always turnin’ with the city council and mayor, always trying to find new ways to squeeze every drop of blood they can from us.

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