Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Where Do Your Property Taxes Go? Parks and Recreation in SA

A Recap of City of San Antonio revenues and spending. So $1,074.42 of your property taxes goes to the City of San Antonio.

The City of San Antonio receives revenues from several sources: Property taxes (25%), Charges and fees (20%), Revenues from Utilities (17%), Grants (usually federal) (15%), Sales Tax (14%), Hotel/Motel Tax (4%), Other Taxes (Short Term Rental Tax, Bingo Tax, etc) (2%), Fines (Library Fines, Traffic Tickets) (1%), Miscellaneous (1%), Intergovernment (0.6%), Permits/Licenses (0.4%)

The 2010 Budget for the City divides general fund expenditures in the following ways: Police (36%), Fire/EMS (26%), other services (Aviation, Community Initiatives, Historic Preservation, Solid Waste Management, Military Affairs, etc) (11%), Convention, Tourism and Culture (9%), Streets and Infrastructure (7%), Environmental (5%), Parks & Recreation (6%), Agencies (4%), Library (3%), Health (1%), Municipal Courts (1%), Neighborhood Services (1%), Economic Development (0.5%), Animal Care (0.5%). I will take you through each of these items in separate posts. If you feel that you have a better way to spend the money you can post your suggestions on the online Budget suggestion box for the 2011 budget.
(For links to all items in the CSA budget, see past posts.)

Parks & Rec recieves a 6% share of the city budget.  The city uses this money to maintain 255 existing municipal parks which include athletic fields, nature trails, skate plazas, outdoor and indoor pools, golfing, basketball courts, community centers, lakes, fishing, canoeing, play grounds, outdoor classrooms, picnic areas, jogging trails, fountains and water features, tennis courts, pavillions and gazebos, a YMCA center, gyms, boxing programs, sports leagues, botanical gardens, war memorials and dog parks.

The city also uses an 1/8% sales tax approved in 2005 to buy up property over the Edwards Aquifer to protect it from high density development.  This land is set aside as natural areas for hiking and nature appreciation.  This is very important to San Antonio because the aquifer is our predominant source of water.

The city is also building a series of Linear Creekway Parks that will eventually connect up throughout the city.
The creekway trails allow cyclists and walkers to  move through the city without encountering car traffic.

Parks & Rec also has an extensive series of activities that is presents throughout the year including:  talent shows, summer youth recreation programs, nature camps, flamenco performances, song and dance performances, concerts, movies, soft ball leagues, bicycle safety instruction, tennis leagues, dances, and festivals.

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