The City of San Antonio’s Budget Equity Tool (BET) includes a set of questions to guide City Departments in assessing how budget requests benefit and/or burden communities, specifically communities of color and low-income communities.
Since Fiscal Year 2018, the City of San Antonio’s budget development process intentionally embedded equity as a strategy through the use of a Budget Equity Tool, which represented a shift from rough proportionality to a need- and equity-overall approach. The Budget Equity Tool was substantially revised for Fiscal Year 2020 to reflect emerging best practice, increased specificity and align with our larger transformational goals of embedding racial and economic justice principles and practices throughout every Department.
Integrating equity into the budget process through a uniform assessment tool is a key strategy in the City of San Antonio’s comprehensive and citywide approach to equity. The tool and the process by which Department’s complete the tool, compliments other efforts to operationalize equity throughout the City, such as Departmental Equity Assessments and 2-Year Equity Action Plans.
The tool itself includes three strategies and nine questions:
Strategy one: apply an equity lens to assess equity impact - This section is intended to assess if Departmental budget decisions considered potential benefits and burdens to communities of color and low-income communities.
Strategy two: be equity data driven - This section is intended to assess how equity data indicators informed Departmental budget decisions.
Strategy three: equitable community engagement and access - This section is intended to assess community engagement in the budget process, whether there was equitable representation and input, and whether the budget supports Departments in authentically engaging with and adequately servicing communities of color and low-income communities.
View the Budget Equity Tool
The Office of Equity supports the budgeting for equity effort through the development of the tool itself, facilitating training and providing technical assistance for Departments on completing the tool, reviewing completed responses, and providing feedback to Departments.
City of San Antonio Budget Equity Tool
The City of San Antonio's BET is designed to:
- 1. Identify whether budget requests advance equitable outcomes for residents.
- 2. Assess the equity impacts of budget decisions for potential burdens and benefits for communities of color and low-income communities.
- 3. Ensure that programs, projects, plans, and investments help to reduce disparities.
- 4. Increase community engagement in improvements, reductions and overall budget development.