Same song, different verse. Like taxpayers around the state, the people of El Paso are getting hit hard by their city council with an 8.4 percent increase in property taxes. The reason? “We don't have enough police officers,” according to the El Paso Times. Translation: Pay higher taxes, or the rapists will be dropped off in your neighborhood.

One city councilmember tried to be reasonable (her first mistake) and offer a 2-percent across-the-board spending reduction, coupled with targeted cuts in non-essential services. Common sense ain't allowed in City Hall.

Now, maybe El Paso doesn’t have enough police officers. But if the straits are so dire that city fathers have to raise taxes 8.3 percent, can’t they consider closing the city museum a little early for a while? Perhaps the 12 recreational facilities, 9 heated pools could be checked for some greater operational efficiencies? 

Absolutely not; any cuts to any non-essential services would be harmful; essential services like police protection can only be provided by new taxes. Now pay-up.

Right.

El Paso’s residents suffer under one of the highest tax burdens in the state, and their city council is making it worse with a $16 million spending increase. It’s no wonder the area had an unemployment rate of 6.4 percent in July, compared to the state average of 4.4 percent (according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Labor).

And for residents who are bothered by this massive tax increase? El Paso’s city manager said, “The citizens who stand up here and make these statements are not the ones who are responsible for the operation of the city.” Yep, she’s right. They just pay the bills of your irresponsibility.

It would seem El Paso’s city council is determined to drive the people of El Paso into the poor-house.

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, and a dog. Check out his podcast, Reflections on Life and Liberty.

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