San Antonio River Authority Adopts Annual Budget
SAN ANTONIO - The Board of Directors of the San Antonio River Authority (River Authority) yesterday adopted a $371.6 million-dollar budget for Fiscal Year 2022-23 (FY23). The proposed budget is based on a tax rate of 1.842 cents per $100 in valuation, which for the average residence homestead equates to approximately $46.24 per year. Resources authorized in the adopted budget continue to support the River Authority’s commitment to Safe, Clean and Enjoyable creeks and rivers throughout the four-county district. In addition to approving the budget, the Board of Directors also took action to increase the Homestead Exemption across the four-county jurisdiction to 4% from the previous .5%. On average, the increase to 4% will result in approximately $10,000, or double, the existing minimum exemption of $5,000. While the approved budget begins on July 1, 2022, the Board of Directors will act on the final tax rate on September 21, 2022, after receipt of the final certified property valuations in late July.
“We have adopted a responsible budget that supports projects and organizational goals advancing the River Authority’s commitment to the stewardship of the San Antonio River Basin and the communities we serve,” said Board Chairman, Jim Campbell. “The Board is acutely aware of the increased property appraisals across the district, so the FY23 budget is based on a reduced tax rate, and we have taken action to increase the River Authority’s homestead exemption that essentially doubles the previously available exemption amount.”
“The adopted budget supports River Authority projects and services that enhance the safety, cleanliness and recreational opportunities across our four-county district,” said River Authority General Manager Derek Boese. “As Chairman Campbell alluded, the budget reflects the economic climate but allows the River Authority to maintain capabilities and respond to targeted needs that contribute to the River Authority’s support of creeks and rivers.”
Of the $371.6 total available funds, $44.9 million are General Fund revenues, with 94 percent generated from property tax. Other major revenue sources include utility Charges for Services of $22.9 million generated by the wastewater treatment services provided by the River Authority and grant funding of $6.7 million. Another significant source of funding is Intergovernmental Revenue which totals $143.6 million, primarily generated through Capital Improvements managed by the River Authority. These intergovernmental revenues represent investments in the completion of capital improvement projects, such as the collaboration with Bexar County and the City of San Antonio for the construction of the San Pedro Creek Culture Park and the Bexar County Creeks and Trails Program.
The FY23 budget includes the authorization of 55 projects across all funds, with 28 projects in the River Authority Projects Fund totaling $7.3 million in new funding for FY23. Highlights of new proposed projects within the River Authority Projects Fund include Mission Reach Erosion Repairs; Water Quality Modeling; Floodplain Remapping along the Leon and Salado creeks and Medina River; initiating design a new Nature-Based Park resource for the community that is informed by our recently completed Parks Master Plan; Freshwater Mussel Reintroduction along the Mission Reach of the San Antonio River Walk; collaboration with the City of San Antonio and Alamo Heights for the installation of green infrastructure; and coordination with Bexar County on the development of the Bexar County Creeks & Trails Program and the Westside Creeks Ecosystem Restoration Project.
The annual tax rate must be set at the same rate throughout the River Authority’s four-county district including Bexar, Wilson, Karnes, and Goliad counties and may only be used for planning, operations, and maintenance activities. A public hearing will be held on September 21, 2022 prior to adoption of the tax rate. The complete budget will be available on the River Authority’s Transparency page on the agency’s website: sariverauthority.org.