Council looks at other fee options for FY 2015 budget

City of El Paso
Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - 5:54pm

El Paso City Council is looking into other options to help offset the potential property tax increase.

The City of El Paso is looking at other revenue streams -- such as hiking electricity and water fees to cope with their growing budget needs. But some residents say no matter which way you put it, they're already hurting. “You need to readjust your budget from fantasy land,” Carol Cassidy, an El Paso homeowner said.

Tuesday’s budget hearing included the city's second public comment session for the $826 million budget. City Council is considering raising the property tax rate from 68 cents for every $100 of home valuation to 70 cents. This means an extra $34 for the average El Paso homeowner for the next Fiscal Year.

Some residents claim the rising property taxes are not only hurting homeowners, Its hurting real estate agents: “My veteran realtor of 25 plus years states that the economy has been down since 2007 when he sold three homes per month. Now he's only sold one home since January of this year profiting $4,400,” Carol Cassidy, an El Paso homeowner explained.

To offset the potential rise in property taxes, City Council is also mulling over hiking up electricity, water, or commercial hauler fees. "I would like to express to you that just adding on a franchise fee to the hauler is not as simple as it sounds. It's not as easy to say ok, you know, we don't want to penalize the residents, we're going to go after the hauler because you have more money and you can afford to,” Bea Heist, the Vice President of Heist Disposal said.

Bea Heist, the Vice President of Heist Disposal claims, tacking on a fee for commercial haulers hurts their small business.

Again, all of these options are just that. Council is set to finalize Fiscal Year 2015's budget next Tuesday.


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