SAN ANTONIO (September 15, 2022) – Today, the San Antonio City Council adopted the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 Budget. The FY 2023 Adopted Budget, shaped through City Council and community priorities, invests in San Antonio’s ongoing economic recovery by giving funds back to taxpayers through property tax relief and CPS Energy credits. The City will make the greatest investments ever in infrastructure and major city facilities – streets, the Airport, the voter approved Bond Program, the Convention Center and Alamodome.
“I am extremely proud of the City team who provide quality customer service to our residents and am glad to be investing in the recruitment and retention of this team,” said City Manager Erik Walsh. “The budget is balanced and will enhance the services our residents expect, while also giving money back to them through direct property tax relief and energy credits.”
The FY 2023 Budget is $3.4 billion. Included in that amount is the General Fund Budget at $1.5 billion.
The adopted budget includes $95 million in property tax relief and $50 million in credits to CPS Energy ratepayers. The credits would be disbursed in the form of $7.5 million allocated to the Residential Energy Assistance Partnership (REAP) program. Of that, $5.5 million will be used for immediate assistance with eligible customers receiving a credit up to $300, not to exceed their total past due balance. The other $42.5 million will provide direct credits to CPS Energy customers in their November or December bills. Customers may opt out and redirect their credit to REAP to assist low-income customers or weatherization, to include minor repairs.
“This budget sustains a vast array of City services while providing the most fiscal relief for residents in recent history, including a property tax rate reduction and expanded property exemptions for homeowners,” said Mayor Ron Nirenberg.
Property Tax Relief
The adopted budget will provide direct relief to the residents of San Antonio through increased property tax exemptions and a reduction of the City’s property tax rate.
In June, the Mayor and City Council approved additional property tax relief of $22.5 million for a total of $95 million by increasing the City’s Homestead Exemption from 0.1% to 10%, the City’s Over-65 Exemption from $65,000 to $85,000, and the City’s Disabled Person Exemption from $12,500 to $85,000. The City is reducing its property tax rate by 1.67 cents from 55.827 to 54.161 cents per $100 in value.
San Antonio is one of the few Texas cities that offers an over-65 and disabled persons tax freeze and exemption. This is the 30th consecutive year without a tax rate increase.
Employee Retention and Recruitment
The adopted budget invests in the retention and recruitment of City employees by raising the entry wage to $17.50 hourly and providing a 5% across-the-board increase for all civilian employees. In addition, there will be a minimum 2% market rate adjustment, with certain jobs receiving higher adjustments. Uniformed Police and Fire employees will see wage increases consistent with their respective collective bargaining agreements. Residents interested in joining the City team can apply at the City’s website.
Investments in Community Infrastructure
The City is also making the greatest investments ever in infrastructure and major city facilities – streets, sidewalks, bike facilities, the Airport, the voter approved Bond Program, the Convention Center and Alamodome.
- Bond Program: In FY 2023, the City begins implementation of the largest bond program in the City’s history. $160 million is included in the budget to begin implementation of the 2022 voter approved bond program. The adopted budget also increases capacity to manage and deliver bond projects – 38 positions are being added in nine departments.
- Infrastructure Maintenance: The adopted budget invests $154 million in infrastructure maintenance, including $116 million in streets, $21 million in sidewalks, $2 million in alley maintenance and adds almost $3 million in new traffic signals. The Adopted Budget also adds another sidewalk repair crew.
- San Antonio Airport: The City is prepared to undertake the Terminal Redevelopment Program, which will add a third terminal to the San Antonio International Airport, as well as a new ground transportation center, parking garage and terminal road realignment. This is the largest City capital project and a major economic generator for the region. The budget adds resources to manage and deliver this project – 30 new positions for the Airport and support departments.
- The Convention Center & Alamodome: The adopted budget includes $35.3 million to begin implementing a six-year $160 million capital improvement program for the Convention Center and Alamodome.
- The City is also investing $400,000 to support businesses that may be impacted by City construction projects.
Community Resiliency and Vibrancy
- Housing affordability & Housing Bond: The City continues its focus on housing affordability. The adopted budget includes $136 million for affordable housing resulting in 2,500 new housing units. In total the City will invest approximately $316 million between FY 2023 and FY 2027 through bond funds, the General Fund, CDBG, HOME and other grant funds. The City is also adding two new housing navigator positions to help property owners and tenants achieve code compliance and wraparound services, when needed.
- Parks: The adopted budget invests in parks and recreation improvements in FY 2023. This includes $7.7 million in renovations and improvements at seventeen parks facilities and $400,000 to enhance the City’s summer youth programming. A total of $477,000 is added to expand the Parks Pool Season to include expanding all pool hours by one hour during the summer.
- Libraries: The adopted budget includes $4.7 million in new investments in the library system. $3.2 million will be dedicated to renovations & improvements at eight library facilities. $1.5 million for library materials and will enhance the availability of library books and materials; $74,000 will support the expanded Texana Resource Center which will open in the summer of 2023.
Public Health and Safety
- Health: Metro Health will see a total increased investment of $5.8 million. Of this amount, $2 million is included each year for five years to develop a partnership with UT Health and UTSA to establish a school of public health, and $3.8 million is included for the second-year funding of SA Forward to support access to care, food systems, mental health, violence prevention, health equity and social justice, technology and infrastructure, and operations.
- Police: The adopted budget adds 78 new police officer positions and $5.1 million in new funding – of the new positions, 50 are anticipated to be supported through a COPS Hiring Grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to address the recommendations from the UTSA Violence Reduction Plan and 28 positions are added to provide supervisory oversight for the new North St. Mary’s police station estimated to be completed in January 2024.
- Fire: The adopted budget adds 21 new uniform positions, including a new Ladder Company with 15 new positions is recommended for Fire Station 45 and six new firefighters for a medical first responder unit for Fire Station 24. In addition, three replacement fire stations are included as a part of the Six Year Capital Plan.
- Mental Health: The adopted budget reserves $2 million to potentially expand the City’s SACore mental health response team. The SACore team responds to 911 mental health calls with a team comprised of a clinician, police officer and paramedic.
- Small Businesses: The adopted budget increases the City’s investment to the LiftFund Loan Interest Buy Down Program from $250,000 to $500,000 and adds $300,000 to invest in small business ecosystem support. In addition, $150,000 is added to help small businesses with noise mitigation efforts.
- Animal Care Services: Resources are added to support the veterinarian clinic and enhance customer service. Additionally, the adopted budget adds funding for an emergency overflow kennel facility and funding to upgrade and repair animal play yards.
- Code Enforcement: $230,000 in new funding: Adds two code officers to begin proactive inspections at apartment complexes and adds a code compliance family support liaison.
- Human Services: $3.9 million in new funding to support homeless outreach and hotline; funding to support the lease and operations of the high acuity homeless hotel; operations of a multi-generational center, completed as part of the 2017 bond program; and funding for technology and social services for seniors. In addition, funds are added for each Council District to provide opportunities for use of comprehensive senior centers by community organizations after regular business hours.
- Solid Waste: The adopted budget adds a second illegal dumping crew. The Solid Waste Management Department will improve routes to reduce the number of houses on each route, provide more balanced collection routes, and increase collection from four days to five days per week.
- Development Services Fund: No fee increases are in the budget. Six positions are added to address the increased development activity in the community.
- Office of Sustainability: The adopted budget allocates three positions to support the implementation of the SA Climate Ready plan and to support execution of Office of Sustainability priorities around municipal sustainability, community climate action initiatives, and sustainable transportation. The adopted budget also includes eight energy efficiency projects and two positions to support the projects, (funded through the Energy Efficiency Fund).
- The City will increase its funding for the Martin Luther King, Jr. March from $100,000 to $300,000. The funds will support the production of the largest MLK March in the nation.
- A position is redirected to address crime and recidivism.