Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Where do your property taxes go? Neighborhood Services 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.)

If your neighbor has trashed up his yard call (311) Neighborhood Services for code compliance.  The city's code violations include graffiti, vacant dangerous premises, zoning violations, illegal dumping, barbed wire and fences, minimum housing, front and side yard parking, illegal signs, illegal vehicle sales, junked vehicles, weeded vacant lots, garage sales, alley and right-of-way, vendors, hawkers and peddlers.  If you want to have a garage sale, don't forget your permit.  You are only allowed four garage sales per year, otherwise it's considered a business and not allowed in housing areas.
Along with keeping neighborhoods up to code, Neighborhood Services also offers financial assistance to homeowners who have been asked to improve their premisis but are unable to pay for it through owner occupied rehab and minor emergency home repair.  They also teach consumers about the home buying process.   Too bad more people didn't know about these classes before they bought a home with an ajustable rate subprime loan.
If you live in an historic district neighborhood services also has funding (up to $65,000) to help you fix up your home to the standards of the neighborhood.  If you own rental property there is low cost financing availble for major repairs.  Once the money is used the property must be rented to a low income family.
If your a home builder and you want to build low cost housing you  can put in a request-for-proposal to use developable surplus city property to build your development on.

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