Council (and cretinous Council watchers) got an introduction to the City Manager’s proposed budget for the coming fiscal year this morning, one which, perhaps unsurprisingly, balances itself on expected revenues from San Antonio’s powerhouse CPS Energy and its magically* inflating natural-gas prices.
The $2.3-billion budget holds property taxes steady at their current rate and keeps the SA employee ranks relatively stable (with a 2-percent, across-the-board cost-of-living adjustment), yet makes it into the black in another economically stilted year on the promise that CPS will make up the difference. Of course, many of you may remember the relatively warm winter** we just went through. A warm winter that would have saved you money on heating had the City-owned utility not artificially* bumped their natural gas charges to make up for Sr. Frost’s case of missing chill.
By keeping property taxes static at 56.569 per $100 property valuation, City Manager Sheryl Scully said she expects a dip in property tax-related revenue of about $5 million, or roughly 2 percent. Sales tax is also expected to return less this year. So, new CPS CEO Doyle Beneby, who got a gracious welcome from individual Council members, the pressure is on to tax the city on the sly again since forecasts suggest another warmer-than-normal winter is on tap for the region. Said Scully: “We’re counting on Doyle and his team to maintain a well-run utility.”
There are still a slew of budget meetings ahead for budget hawks (and doves … see bottom), but Mayor Julián Castro predicted the CM’s handiwork will pass pretty much as is when it comes back for a final vote September 16.
While the total budget is trimmed by a neat $12 mil, Scully is suggesting $5.5 $1.5 million go to Haven for Hope [bringing, if adopted, City's total commitment to date to $5.5 million], while $830,000 worth of other city services are proposed to be axed. There are also some sneaky “fee adjustments” (read, increases) that would be made to medical transport and parks fees.
Other highlights include:
South Texas political blogs
Jon's Jail Journal
B and B
Dig Deeper Texas
The Walker Report
Grits for Breakfast
San Antonio Politics (Express-News)
Off the Kuff
South Texas Chisme
Rhetoric & Rhythm
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