Friday, June 11, 2010

Where Do Your Property Taxes Go? City of San Antonio

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.)

Streets and Infrastructue accounts for 7% of the City of San Antonio budget.  Infrastructure refers to drainage, sidewalks, traffic signals and alleys. 

The Public Works Department is responsible for the maintenance of 4000 centerline miles of primary and secondary streets (this doesn't include highways). The Public Works Department for the City of Los Angeles is responsible for 6,500 centerline miles of streets (which does include highways.)  When you consider that 3.8 million people live within the city limits of Los Angeles and only 1.4 million in the city of SA, that's 3/10 mile of streets for every person in SA versus 2/10 mile of streets per capita in LA.  This means that proportionately LA has a larger tax base and less streets. 

Seven percent of the 2010 budget is about $62 million which sounds like a lot of money, but  it costs $37,500 just to put down pavement markings on one mile worth of street. Street maintenance is expensive, but then you also have to include drainage, sidewalks, traffic signals and alleys. 

It takes a long time for streets to be widened and repaved, and for new drainage and sidewalks to be installed because it costs a lot of money.  In order to keep up with all of the infrastructure maintenance the city has a five year rolling plan that is approved annually.  But in the mean time, you can still get pot holes filled if you call 311 or go on line to file a citizens request form

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