Bexar County budget set for approval

Tax rate to remain unchanged


SAN ANTONIO – Bexar County commissioners will vote on the county's 2014 budget Tuesday.

Under the proposed budget, the county's tax rate would remain unchanged at 32.6 cents per $100 valuation.

County Judge Nelson W. Wolff said for the first time in nearly five years the county has experienced revenue growth, and part of that money will benefit county employees who have seen their wages stagnate for the last several years.

"We're going to be able to give all our employees at least a 3 percent raise," Wolff said.

The proposed budget comes in at $1.68 billion, including $492 million in operating appropriations.

General fund expenditures will increase by nearly $25 million, even though the county will spend $200 million less next year compared to 2013 if the budget is approved.

The proposal includes nearly $150 million for road and highway construction projects.

The county also plans to spend more than $30 million for renovations at the Bexar County Jail and $4.5 million for a new digital records management system for the sheriff's office.

County Manager David Smith said the increase in general fund expenditures will be paid for using excess tax revenues, which came in better than anticipated.

"This is what I'm characterizing as the first post-financial crash budget we've really seen where we once again are seeing healthy construction and property taxes," Smith said.