As if Tuesday’s embarrassment of a dysfunctional city government wasn’t enough to keep you worried about El Paso’s future there are three other city indicators that I am going to bring up today. I believe all three are related to the continued El Paso exodus. They are the latest unemployment figures, the El Paso Times and the city’s latest tax increase.
KVIA reported yesterday that El Paso’s unemployment rate now stands below five percent. Of course, KVIA, like all news media, runs to the spokespersons for the “it’s all good” lies to bolster the make believe fantasies that the politicians want you to believe about El Paso.
KVIA’s piece was nothing more than a press release for Joyce Wilson’s Workforce Solutions. As you expected, Leila Melendez is now the new face for Wilson’s propaganda.
A simple question that no wants to address is whether the unemployment rate is about an actual increase in jobs in the city, or rather is it about less individuals looking for work. We already know individuals are leaving El Paso in droves. The majority, if not all, are leaving for better job opportunities.
Wouldn’t the prudent question be is the unemployment rate down because less people are looking for jobs in the city? Of course not, because that would be an inconvenient question the oligarchy does not want to know the answer to.
Of course, the leads to us to another inconvenient fact that the politicians are hoping you don’t notice.
The El Paso Times
At the same time the press release about the declining unemployment rate is delivered, the El Paso Times is laying off about 15 employees because they are moving their design and copy-editing work to Phoenix. The cheerleader and apologist for the city’s rising taxes understands that it cannot survive in a city where taxes are suffocating their readership.
The newspaper first exacts its public relations fees by selling their building to those it works for, the city, and then they quietly makes preparations to leave the city once they realize that they cannot survive in the city they helped create.
Typically, the El Paso government, in its ineptitude, bought the building from the El Paso Times in an effort to keep the press favorable but forgot to demand that at the very least, the paper should keep some El Pasoans employed so that the tax burden could be spread over a larger pool.
Of course not, that would have been the proper thing to do.
Although the city has reluctantly admitted to having to raise your taxes, as if no one knew this was coming, the city continues to mask the realities of what is truly going on. The fact is that El Paso is heavily in debt. The 2012 Quality of Life projects and the ballpark are the reasons behind the debt pressure upon the city. The city, though, is blaming the firefighter’s contract along with your vote to approve the quality of life projects, conveniently forgetting that city council is the one that embarked upon the public policy agenda of buying prosperity through taxation.
Notice how the city is focusing on the reduction of taxes for the elderly? That is because they are the ones that vote.
Lost in all of the rhetoric is the undeniable fact that taxes will continue to increase each year, regardless of the creative accounting and Tommy Gonzalez’ savings. This is because the underlining problem has not been solved.
Taxes rise because the tax base decreases while the debt increases.
Building ballparks and pretty parks does not increase the tax base regardless of how the local government frames it. The proof lies on the rising public debt the last three years. City government routinely points to increased development but has yet to point to an actual decrease on the tax burden.
Case in point is that the city is rising your taxes while ignoring the fact that they have kept the water franchise fee in place even though everyone agrees it is nothing more than a hidden tax.
The city government pretends it is rising taxes incrementally while, in reality, your wallet knows the difference. The city government would rather continue to pretend “it’s all good” in hopes that something magically happens to raise El Paso out of the depths of corruption it is in.
As long as El Pasoans continue to leave the city, the problem will not be resolved. How can a city pretend it can attract tourism when its own citizen want nothing to do with the city?
As I have been writing for many years now, your taxes will only continue to increase until the city files for bankruptcy. That is the only reality for the future of the city.