Streets top San Antonians’ budget priorities for fiscal year 2025

ETC Institute conducted statistically-valid survey with 1,083 responses

SAN ANTONIO – Streets and homeless encampment cleanups are again San Antonians’ top priorities for the city budget in fiscal year 2025.

ETC Institute presented council members with the results of the statistically valid budget survey it conducted in May with 1,083 San Antonio residents. This is the second year the market research and survey company has conducted the survey ahead of the annual budget process.

CLICK HERE for an interactive dashboard of the survey results

The results were based on a combination of how respondents ranked the need and importance of various city services. Streets were the top-ranked priority for investment followed by homeless encampment cleanups, services to assist homeless people, sidewalks and police services.

The results are similar to the fiscal year 2024 budget priority survey, though homeless services and encampments were combined into a single item last year. Animal Care Services and affordable housing also dropped off the top five priorities this year, though they remained “high priority” for survey takers.

A comparison of the budget priorities surveys ahead of the FY 2024 City of San Antonio budget and the upcoming FY 2025 budget (City of San Antonio)

The survey also measured satisfaction with city services, which was last done in 2022. City staff were quick to point to a record-high 87% satisfaction rating.

Out of 25 different areas, 21 had improved from the 2022 survey.

San Antonians ranked the quality of city services at a record high in the latest city satisfaction survey (City of San Antonio)

The city also solicited responses for a less formal budget priority survey through its SA Speak Up website, paper surveys, and even 311. The 5,125 responses ranked police services, affordable housing, services to assist homeless people and fire and emergency medical services as the top four priorities.

City staff members are still developing a draft budget for the 2025 fiscal year, which runs from Oct. 1, 2024 through Sep. 30, 2025. They’re expected to unveil it in mid-August, with city council members voting on a final version about a month later.

The survey will not be the end-all-be-all for how much various services are funded.

“It’s one of our points of guidance here: the council goal-setting session, the ongoing policy conversations that the council has on a litany of things. The survey is important,” City Manager Erik Walsh told reporters.

San Antonio’s current 2024 fiscal year budget is $3.7 billion. The $1.6 billion general fund covers most essential city services.

About the Authors

Garrett Brnger is a reporter with KSAT 12.

Before starting at KSAT in August 2011, Ken was a news photographer at KENS. Before that he was a news photographer at KVDA TV in San Antonio. Ken graduated from San Antonio College with an associate's degree in Radio, TV and Film. Ken has won a Sun Coast Emmy and four Lone Star Emmys. Ken has been in the TV industry since 1994.

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