The Bexar Budget for 2002-2003
Commissioner Tommy Adkisson
October 10, 2002
When I first ran for County Commissioner, there was consternation aplenty about the often-made claim of cutting property taxes. Actually, the Commissioner's Court did cut the tax rate from the existing property tax rate this year to the rate that would bring in just the revenue we received from last year. But we did gain more revenue from new properties on the rolls. It is important to note that around 65% of our County's revenue comes from the property tax. Unlike the City of San Antonio, we have no sales tax and no CPS pass-through revenue. Our next highest revenue generator besides the property tax is court costs and fines.
- The 2002-03 Adopted Budget includes $7.75 million to continue the development of a high performance workforce including the Approval of recommendations contained in the Table 2 Clerical and Administrative Classification and Compensation Study ($1.2 million) to bring positions to market levels. Also included is the approval of recommendations contained in the Table 3 Labor and Trades Classification and Compensation Study ($191,000) to bring positions to market levels.
- Funding in the amount of $3.25 million has also been set aside countywide to address the issue of rising health insurance costs.
- The FY 2002-03 Adopted Budget reduces energy-related line items by 5 percent Countywide for savings of approximately $1 million. The Adopted Budget also includes continuation funding of $50,000 for the Metropolitan Energy Partnership with the City of San Antonio and City Public Service as well as $50,000 for the new Energy Conservation and Management Program.
- The Adopted Budget includes $1.2 million for increased indigent defense costs. This is an important function that comes to us as a legislatively unfunded mandate.
- The FY 2002-03 Adopted Budget includes the addition of 5 Fingerprint Classifier positions for the Central Magistration Project at an annual cost of $107,750.
- For the first time in a number of years, the Volunteer fire Department Contribution is increased by $2,680 per department for an additional $67,000 per year.
- The FY 2002-03 Adopted Budget also includes the deletion of 18 positions within the Pre-trial Services Department based on Performance Measures for a total annual savings of approximately $560,886.
The Adopted Budget includes $625,000 to standardize and upgrade the County desktop software with the Microsoft Office Suite, as well as funds for lease replacements for 1,990 County Computers.
- Delete one Court Coordinator position for annual savings of $47,617.
In the past seven years your Commissioner's Court has lowered the property tax rate. At the same time however, appraisals in Bexar County have risen enough for us to be able to finance essential services while yet lowering the rate. Hopefully we can avoid the multi-million dollar unfunded mandates from the Texas Legislature next year and manage the budget appropriately in a fiscally sound manner.
This article is relatively brief, yet this subject bears explanation. It asks much from the taxpayer and I trust, returns much to the taxpayer. I look forward to continuing to inform you about your County Government in my next, the twenty-sixth article of this year.