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VOLUME 96 | June 22, 2019
Dear Neighbors,
With the 86th Texas Legislative Session over, my City Council colleagues and I now begin work on the 2020 City Budget.

During the State Legislative Session, the City’s Government & Public Affairs Department monitored over 1,600 bills that could have affected San Antonio residents and City budgeting. Now that it’s over, the Governor has signed several bills into law. Here are 3 new laws that will affect San Antonio:

Senate Bill 2 (SB 2) limits the amount of new property tax revenue cities can collect each year to 3.5% more than the previous year. What this means is that if the City collects $100 in property taxes in 2019, for example, it cannot collect more than $103.50 in 2020 unless city voters approve it on a ballot.

Legislators presented SB 2 as a property-tax relief bill. According to the City’s analysis, the new law will save residents a dollar each month. It also provides more certainty on how much city taxes change from year to year.

This law does not apply to school, county, or hospital taxes. Those will not be limited to 3.5% increases as a result of this law.

In the worst-case scenario, the City will have to pay higher interest rates when it borrows funds for projects and bond packages—meaning more of our tax dollars will go towards interest payments instead of projects.

To put it simply, an $850 million bond package won’t pay for as many street repairs, park improvements, and public safety improvements as it used to.

House Bill 3 (HB 3) increases the amount of funding the State contributes to the public education system from 38% to 45%—meaning more funding per student, increases to teacher salaries, and reductions to school district’s property tax rates.

More than just an education bill, we’re expecting HB 3 to provide meaningful property tax relief to residents. Lawmakers estimate that the owner of a $250,000 home can expect to pay about $200 less in 2020 and $325 less in 2021.

Senate Bill 1152 (SB 1152) lowers local fees on internet and cable companies, meaning San Antonio will lose about $7 million of our budget. The telecommunications companies argued that the taxes on internet and phone services were redundant—that since they’re only placing one cable to provide both services, they should only pay rent for the one cable.

Cities, including San Antonio, argued that the taxes weren’t for use of City land, but were for the different services provided. Unfortunately, the cities lost that argument and we’ll need to adjust our budgets accordingly.

My colleagues and I look forward to crafting a budget with these new laws in place. You have my promise that I’ll ensure District 7 receives the funding we need to keep our momentum going.
Yours in public service,
P.S. My colleagues and I will meet in a special session on Monday at 5:00 p.m. to vote on enacting a General Homestead Exemption to help provide residents with property tax relief. Details are here and you can watch the meeting live here.
The Week in Photos
The 2019-2021 City Councilwomen were officially inaugurated on Wednesday evening in front of friends, family, and the public. This is the second time in San Antonio's history that a majority of City Council has been made up of women.
Following the recent severe storms, we coordinated four food distributions for residents who had lost their groceries during power outages. The third was held at Woodlawn Lake Park with the San Antonio Food Bank.
The fourth and final distribution was held at St. Paul's Community Center with the San Antonio Food Bank and St. Vincent de Paul. We're grateful to all of the wonderful volunteers who joined us, including Mayor Nirenberg, Senator Menendez, Rep. Martinez-Fischer, and representatives from CPS Energy and Pat Neff Middle School.
Councilman Treviño invited Councilwoman Sandoval to kick off his "Cool Clothing, Cooler Savings" Challenge. The Councilman is encouraging residents to wear lighter clothing this summer and increase the thermostat a couple of degrees to save money and conserve energy.
Councilwomen Sandoval, Gonzales, and Viagran sat down on Texas Public Radio on Tuesday to discuss the 2019 Status of Women report and how to reduce violence against women. You can listen here.
Connect with Your Councilmember
As part of the process to create next year's budget, the City Council met for an all-day session to outline their goals to the City Manager. You can watch the session on TVSA.
City Council approved a contract with Mac Wylie Golf Center for Golf Driving Range operations at O.P. Schnabel Park. Driving range operations are expected to begin as early as this fall.

The Ozone Attainment Master Plan approved by City Council aims to reduce ground-level ozone in San Antonio. This is in order to (1) improve community health and (2) avoid federal regulations that could stall the local economy.

District 7 in the News
"A report commissioned by the City of San Antonio reveals that Bexar County is failing 51 percent of its population: women."

" One of the first orders of business for San Antonio’s new City Council at its first meeting Thursday was to accept $2.5 million for staffing and support services to combat climate change and mitigate its impacts."

"For the second time in San Antonio history, women will be the majority on the City Council.

'I wish it wasn't big news, you know. Like a council could be majority women at any point, but... I'm really excited about it," said Councilwoman Sandoval.

"Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Council members Ana Sandoval (D7), Shirley Gonzales (D5), Rebecca Viagran (D3), Manny Pelaez (D8), Saldaña, and Hall said they have heard the concerns of residents regarding property tax relief – but that there are other concerns residents have that require City funding to resolve."

Neighborhood of the Week:
Mainland Square
In 1998 Medallion Homes Ltd. began developing Mainland Square subdivision located on Mainland Road between Bandera Road and Tezel Road in Northwest San Antonio. Mainland Square is located on 64 acres with 240 lots. Most homes have detached garages behind the home and many homes have a front porch, giving the neighborhood a “traditional cottage” feel with a modern and simple architecture. 

The developers’ vision was to create a street scene community. Each street has a focal point so there is a place to walk to and many places throughout the community to create interaction among neighbors. Medallion wanted to do something different and believed Mainland Square would be a bold alternative to living in a gated community. 

Medallion Homes approached Texas Parks and Wildlife Department before starting the Manland Square Project. As a result Mainland Square was certified as a backyard wildlife habitat by the Texas Wildscapes Program, which is run by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The subdivision has only one entrance, is surrounded by greenbelts, and all utilities are buried.

Mainland Square has a three-acre park with walking path, basketball court, and a pavilion modeled after one in the Gruene historic district of New Braunfels. In 2011-2013 the community applied for CPS tree grants and donations to help improve the City Tree Canopy initiative planting over 50 shade trees and with Green Space Alliance developed a community garden next to the park in 2017-2018. This year’s goal is to construct a community dog park. Long range plans include a plan by San Antonio Parks Department to connect the trail system to our subdivision.

Mainland Square residents are a mix of young families, empty nesters, and senior citizens. Community events include holiday parades, movie nights at the park, and family park clean up. Through the support and dedication of active community residents; Mainland Square has taken on special events and projects that help to improve not just the property values, but family values just the same.
City Seeks Applicants for Boards & Commissions
The City is seeking applicants to fill at-large vacancies on the following Boards & Commissions:

Please note that the deadline for the Planning and Zoning Commissions is July 15, 2019.
Metro Health Issues Heat Advisory Level II
The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District (Metro Health) is alerting the community of a level II heat advisory.

Paid Sick Leave Information Sessions
Join State Senator José Menéndez for an overview of the Texas Legislative Session and a recap of its results at one of his upcoming briefings on June 26, July 8, July 24, and July 27.

Paid Sick Leave Information Sessions
Metro Health is here to help employers learn about the new Paid Sick Leave Ordinance. Our goal is to provide you with the information and tools that your business needs to successfully implement the ordinance.

Ensure Access to Your Family's Immunization Records
All records currently in the San Antonio Immunization Registry will no longer be available beginning June 30, 2019. In order for your records – or those of your family – to remain available, you must fill out a consent form for each individual affected.

Learn more here or call 210-207-5071.
San Antonio Public Library Pilots Fine Free Program
In an effort to make Library materials more accessible to children and teens, the San Antonio Public Library, will not be charging overdue fines for books and materials classified as “juvenile or “young adult” during a pilot program. 

Senior Center Services
The Department of Human Services, Senior Services Division helps San Antonio’s multi-generational senior community lead active, independent and engaged lives through comprehensive nutrition, wellness, education and more!

This Weekend at San Antonio Public Library
Book Talk
Forest Hills Branch Library, 5245 Ingram Road
Monday, June 24 at 6 pm

Free books for adults when you sign up for three months of Book Talks. Read 'She Has Her Mother's Laugh' by Carl Zimmer this summer with others!
Mayor's Summer Reading Club: Over The Moon
Any San Antonio Public Library
June 1 - August 3

This summer we are over the Moon in celebration of Apollo 11 and the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing. Registration begins on June 1 and you can register at any public library.
Upcoming Events
Wonder where your District 7 Team is headed next? Join Councilwoman Sandoval and/or District 7 staff at any of the following events!
Rolling Ridge Club Neighborhood Meeting
Date: Monday, June 24
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: 5306 Rolling Ridge Dr W
Woodlawn Lake Community Association
Date: Tuesday, June 25
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Woodlawn Lake Gym, 1103 Cincinnati
Woodlawn Hills Neighborhood Meeting
Date: Wednesday, June 26
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Location: Forest Hills Library, 5245 Ingram Rd
Thunderbird Hills Neighborhood Meeting
Date: Tuesday, July 2
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Powell Elementary, 6003 Thunder Dr.
Date: Thursday, July 4
Time: 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Location: Woodlawn Lake Park, 1103 Cincinnati Ave.
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