The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to permit conservation and reclamation districts in El Paso County to issue bonds supported by ad valorem taxes to fund the development and maintenance of parks and recreational facilities.
El Paso county wants to join the handful of other counties that has the authority to assess taxes on property owners so that the county can buy and hold “open space”. The comments on the Texas Legislative Council official analysis are bad enough:
Comments by Opponents. The proposed amendment would
provide an opportunity for further taxing authority in El Paso County, a property-poor county. In this current economic climate, government leaders should be focused on sustaining the local economy and generating revenue rather than on creating additional debt. While improving the regional quality of life is laudable, it is irresponsible at this time.
The proposed amendment has been characterized as a way for El Paso County residents to start a conversation regarding the creation of a regional parks district with authority to issue bonds payable from property taxes and the associated benefits, but there has been little study regarding the actual economic impact of such a district. Specific information should have been provided to city and county leaders regarding the financing, leadership, function, and authority of such a district before the amendment was proposed.
The fact is, that the objections above are really part of the best case scenario. As we have seen with the “open space” that has been procured in Travis County, this is merely a way for counties to inflate land prices with artificial scarcity, and to reward developers with sweetheart deals. Say no! to spreading the misery to other counties! Please vote AGAINST.