County Judge Ramon Garcia and Mayor Ambrosio Hernandez of Pharr are pretending to discuss the possibility of moving the Courthouse to Pharr. The City of Pharr has a tax rate of 65 cents which is among the highest in the county. Pharr has a total population of 77 thousand and a 31% rate of poverty. Participating in the construction of a courthouse would significantly increase taxes and there would be no financial benefit because public property is not taxed.
What these politicians are trying to do is encourage the City of Edinburg to pay the $30 million for site improvements and $150 million for a parking garage. Mayor Molina seems to know that by waiting, he can make a much better deal. The cost of this courthouse is growing every day, the County just paid $1 million dollars-plus for the courthouse site. Then there is the moving of the 281 roadway and the drainage channel east and under the expressway, this is going to be a lot more than the estimated $350 million dollar.
Here is what it will cost the people of Hidalgo County and specifically the City of Edinburg. Continue reading “Commentary: Courthouse must be on the Ballot”