09/16/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/16/2021 14:52
CONTACT: Landry Stafford,
SAN ANTONIO (September 16, 2021) - Today, City Council voted unanimously to approve the proposed FY 2022 budget. The following statement was released in response to today's vote:
'This year's budget reflects the hard work of City staff and fellow councilmembers in ensuring that our neighbors' needs are being met. Many thanks go to City Manager Erik Walsh, Deputy City Manager Maria Villagomez, the Office of Management and Budget, and the organizations and community members who took the time to express their budget priorities and concerns.
The FY 2022 budget provides $3.1B across all City departments and delegate agencies, an increase of over $200M from the prior fiscal year. This includes $859.9M for public safety, $110M for infrastructure maintenance programs, and $592M for capital projects.
With that said, I have major concerns with the FY 2022 budget. For instance, we are not increasing the City Homestead Tax Exemption, nor are we substantially increasing our police officers to satisfy the needs of our quickly growing population. This fiscal year was intended to be one of recovery, yet our budget is the largest it has ever been. The budget has grown, and almost all City departments have increased their spending, despite the hit that the City took as a result of COVID-19.
In an attempt to grant our residents some relief, I moved to amend the budget in order to reduce the City's property tax rate by one half of one percent. This would cost the City approximately $5M, which is minor in comparison to our $3.1B budget. My votes against items 5,6, and 7 today reflect my opposition to the newly adopted tax rate.
The budget document is the single most important contract we make with our neighbors each fiscal year. While it is unfortunate that we do not vote on each line item individually, I fully realize that there is perceived good and bad in every budget and support the budget as a whole.
Lower property taxes, public safety, and infrastructure needs have always been at the top of the list for our neighbors in District 10 and remain the focus of my attention. I have every intention of continuing the fight for an increase in our City Homestead Tax Exemption, as well as lowering our tax rate, more SAPD officers, and additional funding for infrastructure improvements as we go into the next fiscal year.'