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Voters Reject Property Tax Increase For South San ISD

The South SAN ISD administrative building.
File Photo |Camille Phillips | Texas Public Radio
Voters who live in the South San Antonio Independent School District vetoed a proposal to increase the district’s property tax rate";

Voters who live in the South San Antonio Independent School District vetoed a proposal Tuesday to increase the district’s property tax rate from $1.04 to $1.17, with 57 percent voting against.

South San asked taxpayers for the 13 cent increase because it’s facing a $6.45 million budget shortfall caused by declining enrollment.

According to Superintendent Abelardo Saavedra, South San is losing students due to competition with charter schools and because the district has limited residential housing.

If voters had approved the increase, the tax bill of a home worth $100,000 would have gone up by about $98.

The increase was expected to bring in an additional $6.4 million a year in revenue for the district.

District officials have said drastic cuts would be needed if the measure didn’t pass, although what would be cut has not been decided. South San has already reduced its budget by around $3 million through staff reductions.

Possible additional cuts suggested by Saavedra include ending an after school program, eliminating South San’s contract with social service agency Communities in Schools, and reducing the number of nurses, librarians and school counselors.

South San is the only school district in South San Antonio that hasn’t raised its operations tax rate from $1.04 to $1.17, the highest amount allowed under state law.

Less than 9 percent of registered voters participated in the election.

Camille Phillips can be reached at Camille@tpr.org or on Twitter @cmpcamille