Monday afternoon, officials with the City of El Paso announced that their debt-financing model for the downtown ballpark exhibited “significant improvements,” allowing the City to announce that it expects to stop providing General Fund subsidy.
“Thanks to a strong showing in this year’s revenue from the Hotel Occupancy Tax, and the success of the Chihuahuas and Locomotives, the City will stop subsidizing the ballpark sooner than anticipated,” said Mayor Dee Margo. “The investment we have made in our downtown is beginning to pay back, and it’s proving that we have ‘hit a home run!’”
On Monday, during the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 financial report to the City Council, acting as the Downtown Development Corporation, Chief Financial Officer Robert Cortinas reported that the FY 2019 revenues to include the voter-approved 2% hotel occupancy tax (HOT), sales tax, ticket sales, and property lease revenues will be able to support the debt beginning FY 2020.
Recent reports show the Hotel Occupancy Tax and team revenues will be able to cover the ballpark debt in Fiscal Year 2020.
Three years ago the City refinanced a portion of the ballpark debt resulting in an $11-million savings, which has contributed to the taxpayer subsidy ending four years earlier.
Cortinas said any future surplus revenues will go toward reimbursing $2.7 million in prior City subsidies and capital improvements at the ballpark.