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Former San Antonio City Councilman rallying opposition to sales tax proposals

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) -A former San Antonio City Councilman who ran a tight race against Mayor Ron Nirenberg last year is back in the political spotlight with a rallying call for “no new taxes.”

Saying he wants to put an end to ‘boondoggles,’ Greg Brockhouse is urging residents to vote against a couple of sales tax propositions on the November ballot.  One is a 1/8-cent sales tax to fund a workforce training and education program aimed at helping thousands of San Antonio residents obtain better jobs. The Advanced Transportation District’s special election is asking voters to approve using revenues from that 1/8-cent sales tax for VIA starting in January of  2026.

Proponents say these are not new taxes because for 20 years, San Antonio residents have been paying a 1/8-cent sales tax for Edwards Aquifer Protection and linear creeks.  Now, they’re asking voters to approve redirecting that money to a workforce program.

The City of San Antonio’s Proposition B states that it’s a reallocation of an existing sales tax “resulting in no net tax increase.”

On the Trey Ware Morning Show, Brockhouse strongly disagreed with that wording.

“Don’t believe the lies out of city hall.  These are new taxes,” said Brockhouse. “For the first time in decades, San Antonio will see a sales tax decrease if we vote ‘no’ on on these ballot initiatives.”

Brockhouse  vows to  work to educate as many people as possible so that they can make an informed vote.

“We are in the middle of a global pandemic. Property values and utility rates continue to skyrocket,” Brockhouse said. “Enough is enough and we must put an end to resume building boondoggles that fail at helping a small few at the expense of an entire city.”

Nirenberg says the coronavirus pandemic put a spotlight on the city’s economic weaknesses.

“More than 150,000 San Antonio residents, our neighbors, have filed for unemployment in the wake of this pandemic,” Nirenberg stated after City Council voted to put the sales-tax initiatives on the ballot. “Many of the jobs they held are not likely to return.”

The workforce development plan would help about 40,000 displaced workers get access to retraining or additional education during the four-year life of the program.

“This program gives us a chance to help tens of thousands of San Antonians prepare for more stable careers with a future,” said the mayor.

Brockhouse says he aims to “inform as many voters as possible about the real costs.”   He’s planning a “No New Taxes Town Hall” from 7:30 pm to 9 pm October 6 which will be livestreamed on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Zoom.

The City’s Proposition A is a continuation of the 1/8-cent sales tax for Pre-K 4 SA.

Here’s how the City of San Antonio’s  “Proposition B” reads on the  November 3 ballot:

“READY TO WORK SA WORKFORCE PROGRAM
FOR JOB TRAINING AND SCHOLARSHIPS, A
REALLOCATION OF AN EXISTING SALES AND
USE TAX RESULTING IN NO NET TAX INCREASE.
“FOR THE PURPOSE OF FINANCING
AUTHORIZED PROGRAMS RELATED TO JOB
TRAINING AND THE AWARDING OF
SCHOLARSHIPS OF THE SAN ANTONIO EARLY
CHILDHOOD EDUCATION MUNICIPAL
DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, AN INCREASE
OF ONE-EIGHTH OF ONE PERCENT OF SALES
AND USE TAX NOT TO EXTEND BEYOND
DECEMBER 31, 2025 AND COMMENCING UPON
THE FULL COLLECTION OF THE SALES AND USE
TAX PREVIOUSLY AUTHORIZED BY THE VOTERS
FOR THE EDWARDS AQUIFER PROTECTION
VENUE PROJECT AND THE PARKS
DEVELOPMENT AND EXPANSION VENUE
PROJECT.
THIS IS A REALLOCATION OF AN EXISTING
SALES AND USE TAX RESULTING IN NO NET
TAX INCREASE.

 

Here’s the wording of the initiative that would have the 1/8-cent sales tax revenue go to VIA starting in January of 2026. 

Advanced Transportation District – Special
Election

Advanced Transportation District – Proposition A
(Previously Created with Voter Approval by VIA
Metropolitan Transit Authority)
To provide enhanced public transportation and public
transportation mobility options, the Advanced
Transportation District (“District”) will utilize a one eighth of one percent (⅛ of 1¢) sales and use tax.
The one-eighth of one percent (⅛ of 1¢) sales and
use tax proceeds shall be used for advanced public
transportation services, operations, passenger
amenities, equipment and other innovative, advanced
public transportation purposes or public
transportation mobility enhancement purposes.
The District’s local sales and use tax will increase by
a rate of one-eighth of one percent (⅛ of 1¢) to a rate
of three-eighths of one percent (⅜ of 1¢), with such
increase to begin on January 1, 2026. This is a
reallocation of an existing sales and use tax resulting
in no net tax increase.

“The increase by one-eighth of one percent (⅛ of 1¢)
of the local sales and use tax rate to three-eighths of
one percent (⅜ of 1¢) to begin on January 1, 2026.”

You can see the entire generic sample ballot at the Bexar County Elections website. 

 


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