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City of El Paso debt=$2,670,400,000, county and school district debt=$1,600,000,000. Total $4.27 billion. Your share $19,350
Updated: 17 min 24 sec ago

Water park not feasible without incentives

Fri, 11/09/2018 - 5:00am

This slide explains the water park viability as well as anything we have seen:

The red coloring is part of a page in an economic impact analysis that the city has posted on their website.  You can read it here.

Simply put the analysis concluded that the hotel would only generate an internal rate of return of 4.2% unless someone kicked in some free money (government incentives).

The authors stated that investors would need an internal rate of return of between 14 and 16%.

They stated “As a result, in the absence of additional financial incentives, the Proposed Hotel is likely not feasible.”

Aren’t we nice?

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Proving where you live

Thu, 11/08/2018 - 5:00am

City council is planning to pass an ordinance requiring entrance fees to use the new eastside sports complex.

The ordinance exempts residents of both PID (property improvement district) 2 and TIRZ (tax increment refinance zone) 9 because of the money that those properties contributed to the building of the complex.

My question is how will the city know which people to exempt?  How will people prove that they live within those two areas?  How much will it cost to have people administer the exemption?

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Disagreeing politely

Wed, 11/07/2018 - 5:00am

I write this note before the polling places close.

I hope that regardless of the outcome we can return to civility in our discourse.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Vote now

Tue, 11/06/2018 - 5:00am

If you did not participate in early voting please go vote right now.

We deserve better

but we won’t get it unless we take charge

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Sampling the goods

Mon, 11/05/2018 - 5:00am

As part of the agreement with Great Wolf the city actually requires them to do certain things, like this:

Evidently the city will get 100 complimentary room nights each year.

It will be interesting to see who gets to use them.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Trading land you don’t own

Sun, 11/04/2018 - 5:00am

There has been a lot of activity talking about the water park the last few days.

Part of the package involves the city trading property with a local land owner.

The city then plans to lease their newly acquired land to the resort company.

The rest of the story is that the city does not own the land it plans to trade.  Our water utility does.  The city is planning to buy the land from the water utility and pay for it over a 30 year period.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Hotel occupancy tax issue

Sat, 11/03/2018 - 5:00am

Good government oxymoron wrote this the other day:

A percentage of the HOT tax was approved soley for paying for the stadium.

How is the city legally allowed to waive it or rebate it back to a hotel???

*******************************************************

That got us to wondering so we found the ballot language that the voters were asked to approve.

VENUE PROJECT AND HOTEL OCCUPANCY TAX PROPOSITION

“AUTHORIZING THE CITY OF EL PASO, TEXAS, TO DESIGNATE THE MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL STADIUM PROJECT AS A SPORTS AND COMMUNITY VENUE PROJECT WITHIN THE CITY IN ACCORDANCE WITH APPLICABLE LAW AND TO IMPOSE A TAX ON THE OCCUPANCY OF A ROOM IN A HOTEL LOCATED WITHIN THE CITY, AT THE MAXIMUM RATE OF TWO PERCENT (2%) OF THE PRICE PAID FOR SUCH ROOM, FOR THE PURPOSE OF FINANCING SUCH VENUE PROJECT.”

Good government oxymoron is right.

According to the Texas comptroller of public accounts:

The city of El Paso collects the municipal hotel occupancy tax at 7 percent to support an auditorium and convention center, and in 2012 introduced an additional 2 percent levy via a venue district hotel tax for a multipurpose sports stadium. Combined city HOT taxes totaled $13.1 million in fiscal 2015.

The documents with the water park specify the hotel occupancy tax rebate at 7 percent.  It looks like the city is respecting its obligation on the 2 percent but the comptroller’s explanation seems to mean that the other 7 percent is also allocated and the city cannot re-purpose it.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Impossible occupancy rate

Fri, 11/02/2018 - 5:00am

John Hogan made this comment that we believe deserves it’s own post:

One article I read said that the Great Wolf Lodge could bring 500,000 people to El Paso per year. That’s a really rosey outlook because with 350 rooms, that would require every room to have 4 people in it 365 days a year.

**************************************

It is good to see citizens taking a critical look at the baloney that these people are spewing.

Unfortunately no one on city council brought this up.

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Young voters

Thu, 11/01/2018 - 5:09am

It should not be a surprise that EPISD has been working to get their students who are old enough to vote registered as voters.

https://www.episd.org/site/default.aspx?PageType=3&DomainID=4&ModuleInstanceID=101&ViewID=6446EE88-D30C-497E-9316-3F8874B3E108&RenderLoc=0&FlexDataID=24569&PageID=1

The penny swap election will affect the district.

Maybe one of our readers can tell us what their student was told by the school about the pro’s and con’s of the issue.

We deserve better

Brutus

 

 

Categories: Local Blogs

No locals allowed

Wed, 10/31/2018 - 5:30am

Don’t plan to go to the new water park.

If you look up the Great Wolf Resorts on the web you will see that the water park is “Exclusive to resort guests”.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Taxed to the max

Wed, 10/31/2018 - 5:00am

Be aware that if the voters choose to allow EPISD to add ten cents to their operations and maintenance rate the district will be at the maximum rate ($1.17 per hundred dollars) allowed by the state.

The district has promised to lower their interest and sinking fund rate by ten cents, thus leaving the total tax rate the same as last year.

The district can raise their interest and sinking fund rate generally without limit in order to pay debt.

They cannot raise their operations and maintenance rate by the ten cents they are seeking without an election.

Wait until next year.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Duck for cover

Tue, 10/30/2018 - 5:00am

City council has the water park issue on their agenda this morning (Tuesday, October 30, 2018).

Three of the city representatives are up for re-election next week.

Will council take action on the issue or will they postpone this in an effort to avoid voter reaction?

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs


by Dr. Radut