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Published on Thursday, September 12, 2019

City Council adopts Fiscal Year 2020 Budget with new property tax homestead exemption and focus on strong families and children

More than 12,000 residents participated in the budgeting process through fifth annual SASpeakUp campaign

CONTACT: Laura Mayes, 210-207-1337; 956-821-7925

Spanish media:
Carlos Valenzuela, 210-207-3919


SAN ANTONIO (Sept. 12, 2019) – Today, Mayor Ron Nirenberg and City Council approved the $2.9 billion balanced budget proposed by City Manager Erik Walsh. The FY 2020 Operating and Capital Budget invests 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.


“The Fiscal Year 2020 Budget invests in the priorities of the Mayor and Council, along with the priorities of our residents, while maintaining San Antonio’s strong financial position,” said City Manager Erik Walsh. “The City of San Antonio will strategically work to address domestic violence in our community, make housing more affordable for our residents and focus on the basics like public safety, streets and sidewalks.”


The budget adds $1.6 million to support strong families and children. Of the $1.6 million, $500,000 is dedicated to develop a coordinated effort to address family violence through a family violence prevention community awareness campaign, a school-based violence prevention program and a parenting program to decrease child abuse. An additional $500,000 is set aside to be awarded to community-based organizations that address gaps as identified in the Domestic Violence Comprehensive plan.


The remaining $607,000 will fund half of the cost to establish and operate a Trauma Informed Care Certifying Process. This approach will help buffer the effects of adverse childhood experiences, thus reducing the risk of chronic disease and behavioral health issues later in life.


“Months of deliberations and work have been poured into a more equitable document that will serve as a declaration of our service to San Antonio,” said Mayor Ron Nirenberg. “This a budget that serves our taxpayers, honors our heritage, and builds a framework to provide socioeconomic and structural opportunities to each and every San Antonio resident. Thank you to every City employee who faithfully serves this community, thank you to Erik and your team on a job well done, and thank you to my Council colleagues for being such diligent partners throughout this process."


The Fiscal Year 2020 Budget also allocates $34.8 million to address housing affordability, including the implementation of a strategic approach, in partnership with external agencies to leverage additional funds. Through this approach the City will leverage more than $11 million from external entities for affordable housing investments such as Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), San Antonio Housing Trust and San Antonio Housing Authority (SAHA) will invest an additional $5 million combined with another $6.2 million from potential grants from tax increment reinvestment zones (TIRZs).


The budget also allocates $1.3 million to hire 16 more San Antonio Police Officers. Of the 16 new positions, six will be sergeant positions to increase supervision within the Crisis Response Team (CRT), that handle domestic violence cases across the City. The remaining ten positions will be SAFFE officers who establish and maintain day-to-day interaction with residents and businesses to prevent crimes before they happen. The new SAFFE officers will allow for an Enhanced Crisis Response Follow up initiative where SAPD will contact victims of domestic violence 30 days, 60 days, and 90 days following an incident to minimize the likelihood of re-victimization.


The City will also hire four additional Parks Police Officers to provide security to new acres of park land and linear creekways added to the City’s park inventory.


Highlights from the FY2020 Adopted Budget:

  • $1.6 million invested in a coordinated effort to address family violence and provide trauma informed care
  • $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
  • $34.8 million for a coordinated approach to housing, accomplished by leveraging funds from external partners
  • $110 million for street maintenance funding for projects across the city
  • $17 million for sidewalk improvements, including a new sidewalk repair crew
  • $219,000 for a new micro-mobility team, dedicated to planning and implementing micro-mobility lanes for bicycles, scooters and other forms of transportation
  • $1.9 million and 16 new positions to support parks and greenways
  • $1 million to address homelessness, funded by 50 cent fee increases to the river barge and Tower of Americas tickets, respectively
  • $2 million added to the City’s reserves to plan for the impact of state imposed revenue caps, which will take effect in Fiscal Year 2021
  • $500,000 additional investment in the Parks Tree Fund, which provides for the preservation and adoption of trees


Following the presentation to City Council of the FY 2020 Proposed Budget the City of San Antonio launched an effort to solicit additional feedback from the community. The campaign included 11 community meetings in all ten city districts, two SASpeakUp community days, a telephone town hall, two public hearings and a survey regarding the proposed budget. More than 12,000 residents participated in the budget development process.

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Author: Melanie Morales (GPA)

Categories: City News