El Paso City Council dives into budget talks

KDBC
Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 6:35pm

City council's proposed budget for the fiscal year 2014 reflects a tax hike that would costs homeowners $26 more than 2013.

City Manager Joyce Wilson is proposing a 3.6-percent tax increase. This is how it breaks down, for a home worth $100k, that's more than $684.

The reasons behind the tax hike? To cover the loss of $2.9 million dollars in tax revenues from Western Refining after they sued the Central Appraisal District for overvaluing their property and an increase in the debt service of $5.9 million.

Mayor Oscar Leeser said the plan is to not hike up the taxes and reminded El Pasoans, council is just going into the preliminary phase of budget talks. "It's too early to tell because we have weeks and weeks of talks and we need to look at every department and see where we can see where every little cent can help. So we have to look at every department,” Mayor Oscar Leeser said.

The new budget also covers 12 million dollars for the police and fire pensions.
However, Ron Martin, the President of the El Paso Municipal Police Officer's Association said once again they're being short changed. He claimed Police and Fire continue to invest in the fund, but the city isn't delivering on their side of the deal.

These talks are just preliminary. The city will be discussing their budget over the next two weeks. On Wednesday, they continue budget talks at 9 am inside city hall. They all are open to the public.
 

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