Property tax hike presented during city council meeting

    El Pasoans could see a property tax hike next year.

    The tax rate presented Tuesday during the City Council’s meeting would be a 3.86-cent increase from last year.

    That translates to about a $2-$3 increase per month on a $100,000 home.

    Council was presented with possible budget reductions but voted unanimously to deny all of them.

    It included cutting things like Animal Services' 18-month improvement plan, pay raises for employees and bond refunding.

    City representatives decided those items could not be cut.

    City Manager Tommy Gonzalez said the Quality of Life Bond projects and collective bargaining agreements for the Police and Fire departments are all voter approved and the city has no choice.

    Gonzalez said those items alone would raise property taxes more than 3 cents.

    Mayor Oscar Leeser has been adamant about not wanting to increase property taxes.

    City Rep. Michiel Noe said he believes the mayor would veto the property taxes as presented.

    “Yes well then either we go back and redo everything or we override the veto. There are options the council has in our city charter that we can attempt to override or veto or OK it,” Noe said.

    The tax rate budget isn’t final yet, but major changes aren’t expected.

    Another public hearing will be held next Tuesday.

    Council expects to finalize the budget on Aug. 23.

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