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Stormwater fee outcry

# Stormwater fee outcry

There are 20 comments on the El Paso Times story from May 6, 2008, titled Stormwater fee outcry. In it, El Paso Times reports that:

The four school districts serving the city of El Paso are being charged thousands of dollars a month in stormwater fees, and at least one has refused to pay a \$42,000 bill in protest.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at El Paso Times.

Gman
#1 May 6, 2008
I have been doing the math. In all the meetings that the PSB have had, they claim that the yearly fee collected would be \$20.8 million. Some of the research I have been doing indicates that the PSB is collecting over \$50 million annually. Here is the mathâ€¦ you decideâ€¦ Not Rocket Science!

170,000 Households at an average of \$5.00 each =\$10.2 million yearly

16,000 Commercial Properties with average of \$200.00 each =\$38.4 million yearly

Thatâ€™s \$48.6 Million Yearly

The residential and commercial numbers came straight from the PSB!! The PSB will not tell me the total dollar amount billed in one month for residential and commercial. This is why! The amount that YSID is refusing to pay is only for one month and only one district. The true number for all the school districts is \$1.5 million. There are still 15,500 plus commercial properties out there. Also, thatâ€™s not counting 4 major malls that pay right at \$1 million a year. The numbers donâ€™t add up! We need to have this issue recalled at once. If El Paso wants a Stormwater Utility then El Paso needs to vote on the issue and know where the money is going!

EL PASO YOU ARE GETTING SCREWED ON THIS ISSUE.
Gman
#2 May 6, 2008
May 05, 2008
Eddie Holguin: Why in the next five years?
East-Valley city Rep. Eddie Holguin called me today to clarify his position on the stormwater fee. We had a good conversation, and he made some good points, so let me try to do them justice here.

1. The main thing he wanted to say was that he not against making the fixes. What he is against is trying to finance it all in the next 5-10 years. "We have drainage problems," Holguin said. "But let's finance this over 500 years instead of five years." If this is a 500-year flood, like the city originally said: "I don't know if the world will even exist in 500 years ... why do we have to pay for all of this in the next five years?"

He said he thinks the council is using the storms of 2006 to play on people's emotions to see what they can get away with, but with this latest fee, they've gone too far.

2. Another point that he said is not getting enough publicity is that the fee will be rising each year. Holguin said that the \$4.50 monthly fee that a homeowner with less than 3,000 square feet will be paying this year will rise each year under the plan until it reaches \$17.50 a month in the fifth year. "The public is not being told that," Holguin said. If he's right, and the fee does go up that much, this fight could get bloody.

3. And if you think that's bad, Holguin said, imagine what businesses will pay. And these huge fees on businesses will hurt the poor the most because each "business owner will pass the cost back to the consumer" and the poor consumer is who can least afford the increased costs of milk, gas, etc.

Those were the main points he wanted to make. But some side comments are worth mentioning.

He said the West Side seems to get treated better than other parts of the city:

"If the Lower Valley had flooded, would they have spent this amount of money on it? I don't know. I'd like to give them the benefit of the doubt and say, yes, but, realistically, no."

He said the council is too worried about keeping up with the Austins and Phoenixes of the world instead of realizing El Paso is El Paso and taxpayers can't face the burden of trying to keep up: "Austin doesn't border Mexico."

There you have it. I appreciated Mr. Holguin calling the fair and balanced Best of Times to set the record straight.
Gman
#3 May 6, 2008
I have been doing the math. In all the meetings that the PSB have had, they claim that the yearly fee collected would be \$20.8 million. Some of the research I have been doing indicates that the PSB is collecting over \$50 million annually. Here is the math… you decide… Not Rocket Science!

170,000 Households at an average of \$5.00 each =\$10.2 million yearly

16,000 Commercial Properties with average of \$200.00 each =\$38.4 million yearly

That’s \$48.6 Million Yearly

The residential and commercial numbers came straight from the PSB!! The PSB will not tell me the total dollar amount billed in one month for residential and commercial. This is why! The amount that YSID is refusing to pay is only for one month and only one district. The true number for all the school districts is \$1.5 million. There are still 15,500 plus commercial properties out there. Also, that’s not counting 4 major malls that pay right at \$1 million a year. The numbers don’t add up! We need to have this issue recalled at once. If El Paso wants a Stormwater Utility then El Paso needs to vote on the issue and know where the money is going!

EL PASO YOU ARE GETTING SCREWED ON THIS ISSUE.
The Punisher

Fort Huachuca, AZ

#4 May 6, 2008
First of all, we get this type of rain every 100yrs or so, so far it has not rained that bad. You can predict the future cost for stormwater but you can not see that we had this system for along time now. And now we need to update our drainage system. WOW. The EPW is really scewing with us and exploiding the 2006 storm, so what is next epw, city hall? So everytime you need anything (i.e Cars, houses, free flights..etc) you will raise taxes or add little fees that add up. Is time El Paso does something, we should stop paying or something and wait to come out on CNN like one of the worst cities to live in. Now that would be nice for your resume!
Erin69
#5 May 6, 2008
Ed Archuleta is a typical Democrat...tax, tax, tax! But what do you expect in city like El Paso? I'm glad people are starting to fight back.
Clean-Up Hitter
#6 May 6, 2008
The overpaid school administrators probably cost the school districts more that the stormwater fees. Too bad some of them can't be sent downstream in the the stormwater.
Come on
#7 May 6, 2008
Ed Archuleta controls, the new stormwater fee, the sale of public land to the crooked builders and their payoff policies, and the real GOLD of the desert WATER. How can one unelected person control so much in our city without any media attention or voter input? You are wasting your time complaining about the mayor, council , C. Court. Those people are the small potatoes.
Gunslinger915
#8 May 6, 2008
Clean-Up Hitter wrote:
The overpaid school administrators probably cost the school districts more that the stormwater fees. Too bad some of them can't be sent downstream in the the stormwater.
THOUSANDS of "bench warmers" with the school district on Boeing. MILLIONS upon MILLIONS in school Bonds and taxes. One of the highest drop out rates in Texas. "Johnny can't read, write or speak English" and yet these people taking OUR money in hundred-thousand dollar salaries. Only in El Paso.
HiwayRobbery
#9 May 6, 2008
We should not pay one penny more to the PBS, CAD and the other taxing entities until the FBI corruption investigation is complete. All we hear is there never enough money to pay for the services we need. My recent property tax bill would beg to differ. If there isn't enough money, then somebody on the inside is lining their pockets! These greedy criminals will probably propose taxing the sunshine and the air we breathe nest!!
Concern
#10 May 6, 2008
EL PASO WAKE UP! They are taxing us to death. We've taken care of the city, the county, the children's hospital, Thomason, the schools, year after year. There is no such thing as working with the PSB or any other entity. They knew they would get "some" resistance, and they always bank on loosing some ground.(Look at what the City Appraisal is doing to El Paso) Their plan is working. There is only one word to describe what THEY are doing to us. It's called G R E E D!
flat broke
#11 May 6, 2008
Ysleta School district refused to pay? Can we do the same when the school districts want to raise the home owner's taxes?
Fernie
#12 May 6, 2008
It seems to me that if the school districts don't pay, the shortfall will have to made up somehow. Guess who's going to make it up? You and me, probably. They'll figure a way. If forced to capitulate, the school districts will pay \$27,000 to \$680,000 yearly, depending on the district. I'll bet that money comes from an anticipated tax increase to cover the cost. BOHICA.
Gunslinger915
#13 May 6, 2008
Fernie wrote:
It seems to me that if the school districts don't pay, the shortfall will have to made up somehow. Guess who's going to make it up? You and me, probably. They'll figure a way. If forced to capitulate, the school districts will pay \$27,000 to \$680,000 yearly, depending on the district. I'll bet that money comes from an anticipated tax increase to cover the cost. BOHICA.
Wonder what would happen if WE ALL refuse to pay that amount on the water bill. Does the city sue ALL of US??? But I am definitely going to include a note and say something like "This rain-running-off-the-roof-tax, is paid in protest". What do you think??
gman
#14 May 6, 2008
Gunslinger915 wrote:
<quoted text> Wonder what would happen if WE ALL refuse to pay that amount on the water bill. Does the city sue ALL of US??? But I am definitely going to include a note and say something like "This rain-running-off-the-roof-tax, is paid in protest". What do you think??
I have marked my business and my residential bill with... Paid in Protest
Daniel
#15 May 6, 2008
You people are all a bunch of crybabies. You live in a democracy, and it is your obligation as citizens of El Paso to pay your taxes.
Gunslinger915
#16 May 6, 2008
Daniel wrote:
You people are all a bunch of crybabies. You live in a democracy, and it is your obligation as citizens of El Paso to pay your taxes.
This is the "Sanctuary Cities" on the Mexican Border we are talking about. You are in Ann Arbor?? If WE want to know your opinion, we will tell you what your opinion is.
Joe

United States

#17 May 6, 2008
What the hell are they doing with all the damned property taxes we're already paying? Here in El Paso, we've got one of the most outrageously high combined property taxes anywhere.

What's next? A new tax to fix the potholes? If they were using the taxes they already take for what they should be used for, we wouldn't need all the new taxes they're adding on.
Joe

United States

#18 May 6, 2008
Gman wrote:
May 05, 2008
He said the West Side seems to get treated better than other parts of the city:
"If the Lower Valley had flooded, would they have spent this amount of money on it? I don't know. I'd like to give them the benefit of the doubt and say, yes, but, realistically, no."
The West Side did see some flooding, many people lost thousands of dollars from property damage and if they had not flood insurance it was too bad except for one entire neighborhood off Doniphan of Spanish speakers who didn't bother having home insurance, they were all given new houses that cost much more than their flooded homes were worth.

Those were the only people on the West Side I heard that were given anything, not just a little help, they were given new houses.
Crook
#19 May 7, 2008
Dear El Paso,

I want to let you know that we grossly over charged you on the infamous Water Tax. I let Ed over the PSB come up with a budget. He claimed he needed 50 million a year so he could buy new equipment for El Paso Water Utility’s. So, we put together a public campaign to tell the cheap people of El Paso we were only going to collect 20.8 million. We under calculated those dam car dealers and those low life bottom feeder apartment owners. We felt that the apartment owners could pass on there charge to the welfare dependent residents. We thought this was a good plan since we screwed up and didn’t collect all the government money from Storm06. We figured we would get the government back one way or another. So, now we come to you crapy business owners and offer you a 45% reduction on your Stormwater fee. Residents of El Paso can kiss my butt.. You owe me!! Like Joyce said, squeaky wheel gets the grease. Now Ed is mad at me because he can’t get a new dump truck this year. He has to wait till next year when the rates go back up.

Sincerely,
The Tax Man
Gunslinger915
#20 May 7, 2008
Joe wrote:
What the hell are they doing with all the damned property taxes we're already paying? Here in El Paso, we've got one of the most outrageously high combined property taxes anywhere.
What's next? A new tax to fix the potholes? If they were using the taxes they already take for what they should be used for, we wouldn't need all the new taxes they're adding on.
Exactly Joe, where is OUR money going?? Services??? What services?? We have police and fire department, thats it. Everything else we pay in monthly bills. Me thinks whole bunch of people lining their pockets, Mayor's Office, PSB, EPISD, Central Appraisal District, PSB and yes, some of the Commissioners. C'mon F.B.I. guys, give us a break. More charges, more indictments, PLEASE

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