City Manager Erik Walsh discusses the budget, tax relief and area construction

Final vote for budget is set for Sept. 15; city wants to hear your input

SAN ANTONIO – In just a few weeks the San Antonio City Council will vote on the proposed $3.4 billion proposed budget.

There is a lot being discussed and a combination of council and community input are helping to shape how tax-payer money will be put to use.

City manager Erik Walsh sat down with KSAT 12 to talk about both planning and the top priorities.

“Property tax relief, public safety, infrastructure, parks, recreation, affordable housing and public health,” Walsh said, explaining the most important items.

Walsh said the both community and city council made this year’s priorities pretty clear. Towards the top of the list: property taxes.

“Our tax rate, the city tax rate will go down 1.6% or $0.07. And that’s for every homeowner, business owner, multi-family property owner. So everybody should feel some decrease, but it’s the balance of the appraised values and recognizing that, you know, half of all of your tax bill is going to the public school district and the other tax entities,” Walsh said.

Another of the items discussed was the surplus of funds from CPS (as the city owns CPS) and there is at least one option on the table.

“As the owner of CPS, we need to do our part. And the idea would be that we would take what comes out to about 13.3% of your utility bill or energy usage in the month of July, and give you that in the form of a credit in your October bill,” Walsh said.

And if you have been downtown recently you’ve probably noticed all of the blocked roads and construction. But there is more planned on top of the obvious infrastructure upgrades.

“We’re going to be doing renovations and upgrades to 17 parks and recreation facilities and eight branch libraries,” Walsh said.

And affordable housing continues to be an issue local leaders are working to address.

“I would say that affordable housing has become, even though it’s been a priority the last couple of years, is becoming more and more of an issue, I think, for the community in that bond program that the voters approved in May was the first ever affordable housing proposition at $450 million,” Walsh said.

The final vote for the budget is set for Sept. 15 and the city manager wants to hear your input.

“We’re not looking to spend money just to spend money. I think everybody here, certainly me, understands the responsibility we have to be smart with the public’s money and continue to to provide the services that are needed,” Walsh said.

You can have you voice heard at the various planned town halls. To see a list, click here.


About the Author

Max Massey is the GMSA weekend anchor and a general assignments reporter. Max has been live at some of the biggest national stories out of Texas in recent years, including the Sutherland Springs shooting, Hurricane Harvey and the manhunt for the Austin bomber. Outside of work, Max follows politics and sports, especially Penn State, his alma mater.

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