San Antonio Approves Some Tax Relief
City Council grants a $5,000 Homestead Exemption
Some San Antonio homeowners are now eligible to apply for a new layer of property tax relief. City Council on June 24 unanimously approved a $5,000 homestead exemption. This is in addition to the city’s existing $65,000 senior citizen tax exemption and senior citizen property valuation freeze. Local leaders promised there would be no tax rate increase or cut in city staff or services to offset the newly enacted homestead exemption. District 10 Councilman Clayton Perry, a longtime backer of additional tax relief, applauded the move. “A .01% exemption may not sound like much, but it does have a cumulative impact that will help homeowners over time,” Perry said in a press statement. “The city homestead tax exemption, in combination with the recent passage of House Bill 3, which provides for school district tax cuts, will provide meaningful tax relief to homeowners in San Antonio.
Heights Awards Street Maintenance Contract
Alamo Heights City Council voted June 24 to award a $959,187 contract to Texas Materials to carry out road maintenance during the fiscal year 2020. The city has identified 14 streets, including two intersections at Broadway and another portion of Broadway, for minor improvements. Other roads to see repairs this coming fiscal year include E. Oakview, Tuxedo, Corona, Alta, and Columbine. Texas Materials was one of four companies to bid on the maintenance contract, offering the lowest bid.
San Antonio Approves Community Crosswalk Program
San Antonio City Council voted June 20 to establish a program providing for decorative neighborhood crosswalks. According to San Antonio officials, the creation of a rainbow-colored crosswalk at North Main Avenue and Evergreen helped to raise awareness of the importance of guiding pedestrians safely across intersections. Community crosswalks may be sponsored by individuals or organizations with a connection with the community where the crosswalk is proposed for location. The program sponsor will be responsible for funding all of the proposed artistic crosswalks and on-going maintenance of the crosswalk. The program sponsor is also responsible for community outreach and securing consensus from the public regarding the crosswalk project, including signatures of support from nearby property owners and a letter of support from the representative council member(s).
Fourth of July Parades
Hundreds of Terrell Hills residents came out to enjoy the city’s annual Fourth of July parade. One of the biggest Independence Day parades in the area, Terrell Hills’ event included a picnic filled with food and children’s activities. Alamo Heights and the Oak Park/Northwood neighborhood, also held parades.
Alamo Heights Changes E-Scooter Law
Alamo Heights has made a couple of changes to its dockless e-scooter law. The city is now restricting scooter use to between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. The city is also reducing an operating company’s required liability coverage to $1 million per incident and $2 million total per year. The city of San Antonio is restricting scooters from being used on sidewalks. That rule went into effect on July 1.
Northeast Independent School District Approves Budget, Pay
North East Independent School District (NEISD) board voted June 20 to adopt a $568.8 million budget for the 2019-2020 school year. The new budget features a 3% salary increase for all eligible employees and an additional pay hike for teachers with more years of experience. The pay raises are supported by House Bill 3, a major public education spending package that the Texas Legislature approved this spring.
Some NEISD employees expressed disappointment that the school board opted to add to the state-authorized percentage pay raises. But district officials said it was wiser to be cautious because of uncertainty with some of the rules accompanying the new infusion of school funding. Alamo Heights Independent School District is set to adopt its 2019-2020 budget this month. The cities of Alamo Heights and San Antonio are preparing their budgets for the fiscal year 2020. Those budgets will be approved in September.
By Edmond Ortiz