The wraps are officially off of the proposed budget for the next fiscal year for the City of San Antonio.
“Our total City Budget is $2.5 billion–or, two-tenths of one-percent lower than our current fiscal year budget” City Manager Sheryl Sculley told Council in presenting the spending plan Thursday Morning, adding “The budget is structurally balanced–meaning, we are collecting sufficient revenue to pay for our annual expenditures.”
Sculley said the plan was crafted after collecting a large amount of feedback from the public.
“The top budget priorities we heard from the community are street maintenance, additional police officers and firefighters, neighborhood improvements, economic development, and parks and recreation” Sculley said.
“I think this is a strong proposal that reflects many of the priorities and initiatives (heard from citizens)” Mayor Ivy Taylor said following the presentation.
The plan–which does not include a property tax rate hike–does add a number of positions across the City.
“The budget adds a new 151 positions–and, these encompass thirty-two new police officers and nine park police” Sculley said. The budget also calls for a new Fire and EMS class, while eliminating roughly two-dozen jobs across the City. Nine of those positions are currently filled, and Sculley said those employees would be reassigned to other duties within the City.
The budget also includes a 1% pay increase for city workers. Councilman Ray Lopez wants to see a pathway to a $15 per hour minimum wage for City employees.
“What you do in a budget really says where you place your values” Lopez said. The current City minimum wage is $13 per hour.
The proposal keeps street and sidewalk funding at current levels–with about 900 street projects and 85 more for sidewalks included as part of the plan.
On the whole, Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran called the budget proposal “transformative.”
“From looking at a higher entry level wage… looking at the investments we’re putting in the southern sector” Viagran said.
Council will ultimately vote on the proposed budget and tax rate following a series of public hearings on the plan.