CONTACT: Laura E. Mayes, 210-207-1337
Spanish media: Carlos Valenzuela, 210-207-3919
SAN ANTONIO (August 8, 2019) — City Manager Erik Walsh presented a $2.9 billion proposed budget to City Council this morning. The balanced budget focuses on investments in community and City Council priorities, features a new $5,000 homestead exemption and has no City property tax rate increase, despite significant reductions in revenues.
“I am proud to present a $2.9 billion proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2020 that focuses on strong families and children, housing affordability, streets and sidewalk infrastructure, public safety and property tax relief,” said City Manager Erik Walsh. “These investments are the result of extensive input from the residents we serve and policy direction from the City Council, and are accomplished despite significant reductions in revenues that forced the City to be selective and resourceful in balancing the budget.”
The FY 2020 Proposed Budget addresses several revenue challenges, in part due to the Texas Legislature’s elimination of millions of dollars in fees previously paid by cable and telecommunications companies for the use of the public right-of-way effective September 2019 and property tax reforms that will be effective in FY 2021. In addition, lower-than-projected CPS Energy revenues and projected decreases in interest earnings as a result of the recent Federal Reserve interest rate reduction left the City with a much tighter revenue picture in FY 2020 than in years past.
To balance the budget and avoid reductions to City services, the FY 2020 General Fund Budget reduces $6 million in spending and redirects it to Council and community priorities. Additionally, the budget proposes to shift Parks expenses to Parks Environmental Fund with no impact to residents, leverage funds from external partners and increase the transfer rate from SAWS from 2.7% to 4%. Since the creation of the City-owned water and wastewater utility in 1992, the City has not increased the transfer rate.
The Fiscal Year 2020 Proposed General Fund Budget focuses on:
- Strong families and children, with $1.6 million for a coordinated effort to address family violence and provide trauma informed care
- Police Protection, with $1.3 million to hire 16 more San Antonio Police Officers, six of which will increase supervision within the Crisis Response Team (CRT). The remaining ten positions will be SAFFE officers and will augment the work of the CRT
- Affordable Housing, $34.4 million for a coordinated approach to housing, accomplished by leveraging funds from external partners
- Street Maintenance, $110 million for street maintenance funding for projects across the city.
- Micromobility, $219,000 for a new team, dedicated to planning and implementing micromobility lanes for bicycles, scooters and other forms of transportation
- Parks, $2 million and 16 new positions to support parks and greenways
- Homelessnes, $1 million increase to address homeless initiatives
- Congestion Mitigation & Air Quality; $5.4 million for a grant match that leverages $13.7M in federal funding
More than 11,000 residents helped shape the proposed budget through the fourth annual #SASpeakUp campaign, up from more than 7,800 last year. Now, the City invites residents to learn about the proposed budget, City services and share their feedback at one of two community days or by participating from the comfort of their homes with a telephone town hall meeting. Residents can learn more about the proposed budget at www.sanantonio.gov/budget.
SASpeakUp Community Days & Telephone Town Hall Meeting:
|Saturday, August 17
12 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
9333 SW Loop 410
|Saturday, August 24
9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
|The Rustic at the Rim
17619 La Cantera Pkwy Ste 204
|Thursday, August 29
6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
|Telephone Town Hall Meeting – from the comfort
of your home! Register at SASpeakUp.com
Throughout the next month, City departments will present their budgets to City Council at several work sessions. City staff will make adjustments to the proposed budget based on feedback from Council and input collected from the community through SASpeakUp.
City Council will vote to adopt the FY 2020 Operating and Capital Budget on Thursday, Sept. 12.