The City of San Antonio has begun the preparation of the City’s FY 2015 Annual Budget. Community Input and City Council Policy direction are critical to develop the City’s Budget.
Community Budget Meetings were held from May 19 – 22, 2014 across the City, providing a venue for residents to provide input before the budget is prepared. At these meetings, residents identified City service delivery priorities, potential budget reductions, and potential revenue increases for the upcoming budget. More than 300 residents attended the meetings and provided more than 400 comments.
Streets, sidewalks and drainage were the top service delivery priority of the community. As a potential reduction, residents indicated that uniform healthcare should be aligned with civilian employee healthcare. In the area of potential revenue increases, the community indicated that an increase to the City’s property tax rate should be considered for FY 2015.
The San Antonio City Council also met and held a Goal Setting Session for the development of the FY 2015 proposed budget on May 27, 2014 at the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center. Like the residents in the community meetings, the Council Members also discussed budget service delivery priorities, categories identified for potential reduction, and categories identified for potential revenue increases.
Council Members identified the following seven potential goals as highest priority for FY 2015:
1) Expand financial capacity for street maintenance, curbs, sidewalks, and address drainage;
2) Maintain and strengthen commitment to public safety, which includes maintaining a structural and affordable balance in the budget. Develop a proposal to address the costs of public safety for this fiscal year and provide more information about further options to manage costs over the long term.
3) Expand and enhance neighborhood strategies including Animal Care, Code Enforcement, and neighborhood revitalization
4) Enhance the City’s investment in education and adult literacy efforts;
5) Keep current economic toolbox equipped in order to compete with other cities;
6) Develop and fund a multi-year plan for improvements in existing parks and for park acquisitions and analyze usage in order to make effective decisions; and
7) Fund and complete our Comprehensive Plan, including transportation policy, water policy, air quality policy, and public space planning.
The policy direction received at this session along with the community input received during the May Community Budget Meetings and Budget Input Box will be used to develop next year’s budget. The Proposed Budget will be presented to the City Council on Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014.
Additional budget input sessions will be conducted after the presentation to City Council so that the community can provide feedback on the Proposed Budget. The Fiscal Year 2015 Budget is scheduled to be adopted by City Council on Sept. 11, 2014. The City's 2015 fiscal year begins on Oct. 1, 2014.
Residents can continue to provide feedback and ideas through Budget Input Boxes located at San Antonio Public Library branches, City of San Antonio Senior Centers, City Hall and online at www.sanantonio.gov/budget.
For more information, visit sanantonio.gov/budget or call the City’s Budget Office at (210) 207-8360.