Edwards Aquifer Protection Program Funding
San Antonio is one of the fastest growing cities in the country. Growth offers the opportunity for economic prosperity in the form of business development, higher-paying jobs, home ownership and other rewards. Yet growth also poses certain challenges for citizens to maintain a high quality of life such as an increased demand for services, the need to provide more recreational opportunities and greater use of vital resources, most notably: water.
Cities like San Antonio have been provided with valuable tools to maintain a high quality of life for residents. Through the use of a voter-approved sales tax, San Antonio can create economic development or "venue" funds to support comprehensive plans identified as community priorities. In May 2000, voters first approved venue funds to support aquifer protection and parks expansion including the development of linear creekways. From 2005 to 2015, voters approved three separate venues to continue each of those endeavors.
Each venue is supported by an increase and an investment of 1/8 of a cent in the local sales tax, or one cent for every eight taxable dollars. Taxable merchandise includes items most residents buy every day such as clothing, fast food or electronics. It does not include non-taxable goods such as most groceries, medicine or health services. These projects also would be supported by visitors from outside of San Antonio who contribute to the local sales tax. The sales tax collected to support the Edwards Aquifer Protection venue is set at $90 million with an additional $10 million set-aside in 2015 for water quality protection zones in urban areas of Bexar County. The sales tax is collected until the set amount for each project has been earned.