As you all know back in 2006 El Paso experienced the so-called 100-year rainstorm that is only supposed to come about every century or so. As a result of the rains, many El Pasoans experienced significant flooding. Proclaiming that El Pasoans shouldn’t have to go through that again, city council imposed a new storm water fee on the water bill. Take a look at your next water bill and you will clearly see the storm water fee. It is this fee that Cortney Niland now wants to model her proposed fee for “expediting street repairs”.
However, as we have all come to expect from the city, there is a difference between what city council says it will use revenues generated by fees and debt to against what the money is actually used for in the end. The storm water fee costs the El Paso taxpayer between $1.40 to $5.94 depending on the square footage of the home’s “impervious area” is determined by the Central Appraisal District.
This is a monthly fee tacked on to the water usage and wastewater fees on your monthly water bill.
In 2007, the El Paso Water Utility promised the city’s residents that they would now focus on ensuring the city doesn’t flood again. Fast forward seven years later and the flooding continues.
Yesterday, El Paso’s freeway flooded again. I fully expect some of you to rationalize the flooding as a result of some unpredictable issue or because some dirt had been moved. However, and this is important, yesterday’s rains were not anywhere close to the 2006 century rains that was the impetus for the storm water fee to rectify the city’s flooding issues.
Yet, the freeway flooded again.
El Paso taxpayers have been paying a monthly storm water fee to mitigate the problem and yet the flooding remains.
Now Cortney Niland is trying to tax you again through adding a tax to your water bill in order to expedite street repairs. Niland tries to rationalize the tax as a fee to be used to mitigate El Paso’s street problems.
Weren’t monies already allocated to fix the streets?
Then why does Niland now need to “expedite” these repairs?
More importantly, once Cortney Niland gets her tax, disguised as a fee, will she later come back to the taxpayers and tell them that, oh our streets still need repairs, let’s add a fee to the trashcans you pay us for each month?
Do El Paso taxpayers really want to trust the city with another fee?