Friday, June 18, 2010

Where Do Your Property Taxes Go? The Library

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.)

My favorite city service is the Library.  It's the best free thing you can do in San Antonio.  Not only can you do research or check out the latest novel, they have books on tape and CD, cookbooks, craft books, Movies, TV shows and How To videos on DVD and VHS, Music CDs, government documents, and now while you are visiting you can even check out a laptop with free wifi (or bring in your own laptop, the wifi is still free.)  There's always something going on at the library, from book clubs to computer training, check out the library calendar for all the events.

SA has several branch libraries scattered throughout the city and it's free for anyone living within Bexar County or if you own property or a business within the county, just bring in a picture ID and a proof of residence, property or business to get a library card.  If your homebound, you can still register for an account online.

You can even use the library at home.  Logon to the library website to search the catalog and place holds on books that can be picked up at the nearest local branch.  You can even check out a digital audio or ebook online without ever leaving home.  They have an online service for job hunters at the Career Center. also has Live Homework Help for your student.  If you're into geneology check out the Texana/Geneology guides.  If you need information, check out the online databases.

I think the Library is well worth the $2.6 million the city spends on it.

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