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Some results have been finalized with election day votes rolling in across the area.
- ✅ City of San Antonio voters have passed the city’s largest-ever bond program, including a first-of-its-kind affordable housing portion.
Mayor Ron Nirenberg declared victory before 10 p.m. for the six propositions making up the $1.2 billion bond program. At that point, each of the propositions, A through F, had between 59.9% and 72.4% approval.
Speaking to the crowd at the watch party for the Taking Care of SA campaign, which supported the bonds, Nirenberg said “the statement tonight is San Antonians believe in each other. We rally around each other. We know we’ve been through a very difficult time, but we are not satisfied with status quo. We’re working to make our city better, stronger, more equitable and resilient than ever before, and that’s what this vote represents.”
- Kerrville will have a new mayor after Judy Eychner received 60% of the vote against L. Brent Bates. Two city council candidates also declared victory Saturday, with Joe Herring Jr. beating out Katy Chapman-Hanna with 63% of the vote and incumbent Brenda Hughes overcoming challenger Robin Monroe by nearly the same margin for Place 4.
- ✅ Boerne ISD: 52% of voters were in favor of Proposition A, which will fund a new elementary school and expansions at existing schools to the tune of $163 million. Proposition B, a $3-million project that will fund new devices for students and staff in the district, received 54% voter approval.
- ❌ Marion ISD: The district’s bond proposition failed with 60% voting against it. The bond would have funded improvements and long-term developments within the district.
- ✅ Ingram ISD: Voters approved a bond to pay for expansions at the district’s schools, new land for the high school and new school buses. With 941 votes cast, the measure passed with 53% voting for it.
- ✅ Two Texas Constitution amendments aimed at reducing property taxes passed with more than 85% support.
Live Oak Bond Election
An $18 million bond election for streets, bridges and sidewalks improvements in Live Oak appears headed for approval. With early votes in, 69% voted for the proposition while 31% rejected it.
Shavano Park Bond Election
A $10 million bond election for streets, bridges and drainage improvements in Shavano Park appears headed for approval. With early votes in, 82% voted for the proposition while 18% rejected it.
Windcrest Bond Election
A $5 million bond election for a new aquatic center in Windcrest appears headed for defeat. With 32% of votes in, 62% voted against the proposition while 38% voted for it.
Several local school bonds are too close to call after early and absentee votes have been tabulated.
Northside ISD: After early voting, the bond proposal has 59% approval with 24,851 votes cast prior to election day.
The bond will pay for upgrading more than 20 existing Northside ISD schools, some of which are decades old. The largest part of the proposal allots $645.5 million to be invested in schools such as John Jay, Holmes and Taft high schools.
Harlandale ISD: After early voting, Prop A has 54% approval, but 51% have voted against prop B and 51% have voted against Prop C.
Prop A would fund school facilities, land and buses. Prop B would refund the maintenance tax obligations - money used for improvements to high school auditoriums, roof replacement and other improvements. Prop C is a $9.5 million bond to complete phase 2 of Memorial Stadium.
Medina Valley ISD: 56% of early voters voted for Prop A which would put money toward schools and land but 53% of early voters voted against Prop B which would fund the football stadium at the high school.
Boerne ISD: After early voting numbers, 55% are in favor of Proposition A which would fund a new elementary school and expansions at existing schools. Proposition B has 57% approval after early voting. Prop. B would fund new devices for students and staff in the district.
Marion ISD: In early voting, 65% voted against the school bond, which would pay for improvements at the district’s high school.
Ingram ISD: After early voting, 61% voted against Proposition A, which would pay for expansions at the district’s schools, new land for the high school and new school buses.
The two Texas Constitutional Amendments appear headed for easy approval by voters.
Statewide early and absentee votes indicate that both propositions are being favored by at least 85%. Election day votes are yet to be tabulated.
All six of the San Antonio bonds that make up the $1.2 billion package received more than 60% of approval during the early voting period. Election day votes are yet to be tabulated.
That means the City of San Antonio’s $1.2 billion bond program appears to have a good chance of passing.
All six bond propositions had between 60 and 73 percent support, with the first-of-its-kind $150 million affordable housing portion, Proposition F, gaining the least support.
Mild celebrations broke out at the watch party for the Taking Care of SA campaign, which supported the bond, where District 4 Councilwoman Adriana Rocha Garcia was all smiles.
“I never count my ducks too early, but I’m celebrating that we have a great start right now,” Rocha Garcia said.
The total number of Bexar County early votes have been posted by the elections administrator: 47,866 in-person early votes, 17,936 mail-in votes.
San Antonio’s bond
The five-year, $1.2 billion bond program approved by City Council needs voter approval on May 7 and includes 183 different projects are split between six propositions, which voters will take up separately:
- Streets, bridges, and sidewalks - $471.6M
- Parks and recreation - $271.9M
- Drainage and flood control - $169.9M
- Affordable housing - $150M
- Public Safety Facilities - $78.3M
- Library and Cultural Facilities - $58.4M
The bond does not include a tax increase.
“The big takeaway for me on this bond is that we are advancing the very basics of our community -- you know, streets, sidewalks, drainage priorities, better than we have in any previous bond cycle,” said Mayor Ron Nirenberg after the vote.
Some of the highlights in the bond include:
- $103.5M for expanding the greenway trail system by another 21 miles
- $15.7M for public art -- 1.5 percent of the whole bond (except housing)
- $44M for two replacement fire stations (D1 and D5) and one new police substation (D3)
- $100.5M to reconstruct failed streets around the city
- Improvements to 30% of city’s parks, including 9 new park properties
- $150M for affordable housing
This is the city’s first bond to include affordable housing after voters approved a charter change in May 2021 to allow for it. The housing portion of the bond does not include individual projects, but rather, broad categories for using the funding, with a focus on helping lower-income households.
The committee also provided a set of parameters for determining if subsequent projects fit the intent of the housing bond.
“Housing is health, stability, safety and overall, a human right,” said District 5 Councilwoman Teri Castillo.
Texas Constitutional Amendments
Two proposed constitutional amendments would lower property taxes for homeowners if they are approved by voters on May 7.
The first proposition looks to reduce the amount of taxes that elementary and secondary public schools could impose on homeowners who are elderly or disabled. The changes would go into effect on January 1, 2023, and are estimated to cost more than $744 million between 2024 and 2026.
The second proposed constitutional amendment is also focused on property tax. If approved, the amendment would increase the amount of the homestead exemption from $25,000 to $40,000. The proposal would save homeowners an average of $176 on their property tax bill, the Texas Tribune reported.
The state plans to use its surplus to help offset the loss in revenue for schools if the amendments are approved by the voters.
Both amendments, which garnered bipartisan support from the Texas Legislature, are expected to pass.
Property taxes have become a major issue for homeowners home prices have skyrocketed in the last few years.
In Bexar County, home appraisals are up by an average of 28%, according to the Bexar Appraisal District.
Property owners can check to see if they are claiming all exemptions they qualify for, such as homestead, over-65, and disabled veterans, by visiting the district’s website bcad.org.
Read the full text of the proposed constitutional amendments here.