City of El Paso approves FY 2015 budget, no cuts

Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 5:32pm

Homeowners expect to pay $26 more for property taxes. The City Of El Paso officially adopted a $826-million budget for Fiscal Year 2015.
City Reps voted the multi-million dollar budget unanimously -- but the decision didn't come so easily and some sacrifices had to be made.

They passed the budget without making any cuts -- but it didn't happen without a debate.

“If we're going to tack on to the homeowners, we need to do it to the businesses, as well. We've got to quit carving out the homeowner as the only source of revenue the city has,” City Rep. Michiel Noe, District 5 said.

The hours long city council meeting had many city reps -- nixing ideas and bringing up new ones for possible revenue.The adopted rate is now 69.9 cents per $100 of valuation. That rate is lower than the proposed amount which would have meant an average of $34 more per year for the El Paso homeowner, now it will add on $28 dollars more per year.
Council immediately tossed out the idea of tacking on an electric franchise fee, which would have gone into effect January 1st.

Instead -- expect to pay more when you visit the zoo And if you plan on renting out a park building -- expect to shell out even more cash. This -- after City Rep Michiel Noe appealed to his colleagues to look for revenue streams, "The rest of these are hard cuts to make. I agree with that. But I agree if we have to we got to do it,” Noe explained.

City reps were also looking to hit up commercial haulers for revenue but that idea will remain just that -- an idea. Instead, they will be discussing the potential 1-percent hike with disposal services companies like Heist Disposal during the coming months. Bea Heist has expressed why she's against this potential fee -- claiming it will hurt small businesses like hers. "I truly believe that it will have a negative impact on our city because it will discourage small business. It will discourage competition in an industry that is already difficult to survive in,” Bea Heist, the Vice President for Heist Disposal told us.

Nonresidential water fees will also go up by $16.10 a month. That will be effective September 1st.

Zoo and and park fee increases attached.

Zoo Fee Increases as Adopted.pdf83.64 KB
Parks Fee Increase.pdf84.94 KB

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