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January 17, 2012

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The City held meetings on this subject before Thanksgiving. The meeting on the westside at the police station was attended by 5 citizens. Staff out numbered the citizens. So I guess they are doing a second round of meetings to catch the "after the holiday" crowd. Let's hope more people attend - especially on the westside. I did hear a comment that all this "public participation/input" that the City promotes, most citizens believe the fix is already in and that the meetings are held so the government can say "we solicited input". How do you convince the cynical citizens/voters among us that the City truly cares about your suggestions. Skip the suggestion box and the website input - send it directly to your City rep. Flood their mailbox with your suggestions. That can't be ignored as much as a comment card.

It could be that they floated the $500 million figure so they can walk it back to $250 million and we will be grateful they saved us money!

Its all going to the voters, so its not like a protest sign or lawsuit is needed yet...I think with a $500mil tag...the public will not be easily hijacked eg stick a tag that big on anything and the public does it research. I also think even if passed a lot of the subcontracts etc will still have to be competitively bid.

http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/miarticle.htm?id=7759

"The whole thing is a racket,” Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby recently observed. Once again the politicos will expand their empire. Once again crony capitalism will enrich a handful of wired business operators. And once again Joe and Jane Taxpayer will pay through the nose. How many times must we see this movie before we finally shut it off?”

According to John Cook recent interview in El Paso Inc., the PDN intends to "tear City Hall down and build an arena there." Under the PDN plan, City Hall would relocate to a new facility in the governmental district at a cost to taxpayers of about $200 million. So, $123 million to build an arena + $200 million for a new City Hall = $323 million. Throw in another $100 million for "Field of Dreams" baseball stadium. Add it all up and you've spent over $400 million... just on Downtown; that's some serious coin! The rest of the city will share in the remaining crumbs, if there are any left.

http://www.elpasoinc.com/news/q_and_a/article_b39fb0de-0972-11e1-b865-001a4bcf6878.html

Well if they go that way expect your taxes to jump 15 cents per hundred or more. For those of ou who don't know the City carries over $3 in debt for every dollar in property taxes it takes in. This bond issue when you include the interest will increase that outstanding to $6 for every dollar the city gets in property taxes that is before they skim money from all of these taxing districts that have frozen the property valuations so when those property values increase the increased tax revenue generated by the increase in property valuation is skimmed off for other projects. Of course this means the tax payer has to make up this loss of income to the General Fund through higher taxes. BTW a large portion of the most valuable commercial property in the city resides in such a tax district.

Ask yourself this question. Do you want the City Tax rate to rise to $.90/$100 valuation?

Great analysis David K! I plan to print this out and use some of your arguments at City Council meetings. Don't always agree w you, but I will absolutely give you credit where credit is due.

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