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City Council Passes $2.5 Billion Budget; Property Tax Rate To Stay The Same

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Joey Palacios
/
Texas Public Radio
City Council passed a $2.5 Billion budget on Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016.

The City of San Antonio’s $2.5 billion budget for fiscal year 2017 was approved in an unanimous vote by City Council on Thursday morning.

The budget funds nine new police officers, a $13.75 per hour minimum wage for the lowest paid city employees and increased funding for streets and sidewalks. That wage increase means an employee who now earns about $27,000 a year will earn $28,600 a year.

 

It also includes some of the first implementations of the SA Tomorrow plan including two new city planning positions.

 

San Antonio City Manager Sheryl Sculley says five community and regional plans will be developed.

 

“We will be working with the neighborhoods and our community about very specific land use and zoning issues, our building codes, how we make our community better from a transportation and livability stand point,” Sculley says.

 

The council also did not increase the city’s property tax rate; although property taxes may still increase due to rising home appraisals.  

 

District 9 City Councilman Joe Krier said, “We also held the line on the property tax rate, making this the twenty-fourth consecutive year without an increase. Indeed, we’ve reduced that rate four times in the last 10 years. In my view, one of Council’s main tasks is to keep City costs under control so we don’t have raise property taxes on homeowners, especially with home values climbing as rapidly as they have over the last two years."

 

Street lighting is also getting a boost through the city’s Smart Cities initiative -- about $3 million over three years.

 

District 5 Councilwoman Shirley Gonzalez says it will be a move to bring brighter LED lights in some areas.

 

“Lighting has been one of the No. 1 priorities in my district and I was happy to see that come through the budget, not as an amendment, but as part of the Smart Cities,” Gonzalez says.

 

The fiscal year for the city begins Oct. 1.