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SA Proposed Budget Unveiled

By Bill O'Neil

The wraps are officially off the proposed budget for San Antonio for the coming year.

"There is no city property tax rate increase. It maintains and expands our public safety staffing levels, it continues funding for our street maintenance program" said City Manager Sheryl Sculley in unveiling the plan, adding there will be some additional revenue to be had.  

"Sales tax increase ill be up about 3.5%, our CPS (Energy) revenues are estimated to increase only about 1.4% next year" Sculley said. The plan also calls for you to pay more in the way of certain fees. 

"We are recommending increases in the EMS transport expenses, our business franchise fees, our telecommunications fees that users of the public right of way pay to the city" Sculley said. As far as holding the line of the property tax rate--that doesn't mean your bill won't be going up.

"Property values are up 4.68% for the coming year. We recieve those values from the Bexar Appraisal District" Sculley said. That doiesn't sit well with some Council Members--including Carlton Soules--who said the plan may be pinching you too much already.  

"Increases in the CPS rate and increases in the Saws rate..the net effect is the city will be taking a larger bite" Soules said. Councilwoman Elisa Chan seemed to agree. 

"I do beleive there are other areas in which we need to look to prioritize the use of our funding" Chan said. 

Others though wonder if the plan brings in enough cash--hinting the book shouldn't be closed on prperty tax rate hike. 

"Given some of the cuts that are proposed--I think that dialogue should continue" saind Councilwoman Ivy Taylor.  

The plan also calls for the elimination of nearly 300 poisiotns to make the numebrs work--and that makes some who will vote on it very uncomfortable.  

"We're trying to help our city--and yet we're putting these residents of our city also in a situation" said Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran.  

Public hearings on the proposed budget are slated to get underway Monday, August 12th.    

Filed Under :  
Locations : San Antonio
People : Carlton SoulesElisa ChanIvy TaylorRebecca ViagranSheryl Sculley
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