Last week the County Commissioners met to discuss issuing $7 million in certificates to cover aging infrastructure. Just to be clear, the certificates of obligation issues in 2012 were specifically to cover infrastructure and, according to the El Paso Times, “Escobar said the money left over from the 2012 certificates of obligation will help address some of the needs.” However, this left-over money isn’t enough. So, the County Commissioners are looking to issue a certificate of obligation, ” A certificate of obligation is debt issued without voters’ approval.” The County Commissioners are patting themselves on the back because issuing this debt won’t raise the tax rate because it is “equivalent to what the county refinanced and paid off earlier this year.” Doesn’t that make you feel better? They managed to pay down some of the BILLION dollars in debt burdening the El Paso taxpayers and now want to take that money out again so that they could spend it.
The County Commissioners are going to spin this as a good thing – they are able to fix and improve things without raising your property taxes! Yeah, you’re still paying and, as they issue more debt, you’ll be paying for a long time to come.