The City of San Antonio initiated preparation of the City’s FY 2015 Annual Budget that begins October 1, 2014 – September 30, 2015. Community Input and City Council Policy direction are critical to the development of the City’s Budget.
Community Budget Meetings were held from May 19 – 22, 2014 across the City, providing an opportunity for residents to offer input before the budget is prepared. At these meetings, residents identified City service delivery priorities, potential budget reductions, and potential revenue increases for the upcoming budget
Streets, sidewalks and drainage were at the top of the service delivery priorities of the community. In the area of potential revenue increases, the community indicated that an increase to the City’s property tax rate should be considered for FY 2015. As a potential reduction, residents indicated that uniform healthcare should be aligned with civilian employee healthcare.
Wages and benefits must be fair to employees and affordable to taxpayers. Over the past seven years, the City of San Antonio has implemented a compensation philosophy for civilian employees of competitive wages and employee participation in the cost of healthcare. City of San Antonio civilian employees contribute toward their health care costs including all executive staff.
Public Safety employees earn competitive wages today. The proposal is that they contribute toward the cost for healthcare for themselves and their dependents. Doing so results in a savings of more than $10 million per year.
The San Antonio City Council held a Goal Setting Session for the development of the FY 2015 proposed budget on May 27, 2014 at the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center. City Council discussed budget service delivery priorities, categories identified for potential reduction, and categories identified for potential revenue increases.
City Council Members identified the following seven goals as high priorities for FY 2015:
1) Expand the financial capacity for street maintenance, curbs, sidewalks, and address drainage;
2) Maintain and strengthen the commitment to public safety, which includes maintaining a structural and affordable balance in the budget. Develop a proposal to address the costs of public safety for this fiscal year and provide more information about further options to manage costs over the long term.
3) Expand and enhance neighborhood strategies including Animal Care, Code Enforcement, and neighborhood revitalization
4) Enhance the City’s investment in education and adult literacy efforts;
5) Keep the current economic toolbox equipped in order to compete with other cities;
6) Develop and fund a multi-year plan for improvements to existing parks and for park acquisitions and analyze usage in order to make effective decisions; and
7) Fund and complete a Comprehensive Development Plan, including transportation policy, water policy, air quality policy, and public space planning.
The policy direction received at this session along with the community input received during the May Community Budget Meetings and Budget Input Box will be used to develop next year’s budget. Budget adoption is scheduled for September 11, 2014.
For more information regarding the FY 2015 Budget development process, visit www.sanantonio.gov/budget