This is How the EPISD Bond Gets Passed and It’s Easier Than You Think

$669 Million is a HUGE number.  For an average homeowner, it is going to raise property taxes by over $200.  Considering that El Paso already has high property taxes you would expect that it would be an uphill battle for EPISD to get the bond passed.  However, EPISD has several things going in their favor:

  1. Last week the EPISD Board of trustees guaranteed that the $9 million “excess” they get from the school consolidations would go back to the teachers and EPISD employees.  This means that teachers are going to follow the County Commissioner’s example and vote themselves a raise.
  2. Once you hit age 65 your property taxes are frozen as far as payments to EPISD as long as you apply for the exemption.  That means that anyone over the age of 65 who has applied for the exemption WON’T HAVE TO PAY the additional money for the bond.  This group of people consistently votes and, since they don’t think it impacts them, of course they are going to vote to spend more money on EPISD to “help the children”. In reality, those who have not already applied for the 65+ exemption are going to think that they will not see an increase in their property taxes and may vote the bond through only to be hit with a HUGE tax increase.
  3. Last year State Senator Jose Rodriguez started an initiative to get eligible high school kids registered to vote.  This year that initiative is in full swing at EPISD.  “As of Sept. 19, volunteers and members with the student registration program spoke to nearly 2,000 high school students and registered more than 200 eligible students.”  Between Oct. 24 and Nov. 4, EPISD will be have several mobiles sites to make it more convenient for voters. This is another group that has nothing to lose by voting the bond in; they don’t pay property taxes.  Even though this group is not a large voting block, every vote counts.
  4. Voter turnout in El Paso is AWFUL.  In the primaries this year, 21% of registered voters actually voted and that was quite a bit higher than the previous primaries in 2012 (8.9%) and 2008 (16.55%).  Few people vote, so they actually need a very small number of people to vote “Yes” and the bond wins.

So, here is your chance.  If you heard that someone was going to charge you $200 (or more) a year and all you had to do was show up and tell them “No”, wouldn’t you do it?  Because that is what you need to do here.  If you don’t like this bond, if you don’t trust the people who are going to be managing over 1/2 billion dollars, then you need to respectfully decline.  And, don’t wait until the last minute.  Do it during early voting, get it out of your way, check it off your list.

There is still time to register to vote, you have until October 11, 2016.  Not sure if you’re registered, click here to find out.  If you are not registered, you can register to vote by clicking here (English) or here (Spanish), downloading and filling out the application, and mailing it in (they don NOT accept emailed applications).

Early voting period will be from Monday, October 24, 2016 through Friday, November 04, 2016.

Election Day will be Tuesday, November 8, 2016 from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Find an early voting station by clicking here or a mobile voting station by clicking here.

 

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One thought on “This is How the EPISD Bond Gets Passed and It’s Easier Than You Think

  1. FYI, I am 70 years old, I do vote, but I would never vote FOR a Bond Issue like this just because it does not impact me! I spent too many years working and raising a family, while paying taxes, to take such a narrow view of voting and tax issues. Frankly, I resent your statement as applied to those of us who use that over 65 exemption. As for registering high school kids to vote, I would hope that the schools and parent might have done a good enough job of educating those kids who do register, that they are able to make informed decisions about their votes. Ultimately, I can’t think of a solution to the general apathy that applies to El Paso voters, but I don’t see how it could possibly be helped by your attacking those few who might vote. Why not try a more positive approach, and simply present the facts, and let people make up their minds? By the way, I do not even live within the confines of the EPISD, so this particular bond issue is meaningless to me.

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