‘We have to plan the transportation of the future,' says San Antonio mayor

Ron Nirenberg talks transportation, taxes, Alamo plan in KSAT Q&A

SAN ANTONIO – According to the newest Bexar Facts-KSAT-San Antonio Report poll, most San Antonio residents support the 1/8 cent sales tax propositions that would fund Pre-K for S.A., transportation and job training programs. In the latest KSAT Q&A, Mayor Ron Nirenberg said he’s pleased with these results.

“I think it is a recognition that we all have in this community that we are in an emergency and we have to respond accordingly. And part of that is that we have to get our neighbors, our loved ones, our community back on its feet, get back to work and do so in it in a safe manner, but also do so in a manner that recognizes that the economy is changing and we have to allow for people to have pathways to stable careers,” he said.

The issues will be on the ballot in November.

“I want to make sure everybody understands this is not a tax increase. It’s not new taxes. This is already being accrued after every purchase that you make,” the mayor explained.

Voters will decide whether to use a 1/8 cent sales tax through Dec. 31, 2025, to fund a workforce training and education program that city leaders estimate will help about 40,000 people get better-paying jobs and help break cycles of poverty. Then beginning Jan. 1 2026, the tax money would permanently go towards VIA transportation.

Q: Why are we approving something now that won’t be used for transportation for several more years?

“We have to plan the transportation of the future,” Nirenberg said. “We’re missing out on hundreds of millions of our own tax dollars that the Department of Transportation federally sends to all communities across the country. We have to be able to take down some of those federal funds that are due to us in order to build our transportation system of the future. And that requires us to have dedicated revenue in the form, again, of sales tax.”

During his interview on KSAT, Nirenberg also talked about the decision not to move the cenotaph from the Alamo plaza as part of the master plan for the area. Watch the full segment in the video player above. Catch these KSAT Q&A’s live at 6:30 p.m. and on the Nightbeat Monday through Friday.

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