Breaking down San Antonio’s record 2023 budget

Here’s how the City will spend its $3.4 billion.

SATX skyline flag 1

Everything’s bigger in Texas — including, apparently, municipal budgets.

Photo by @primapixvisuals

The San Antonio City Council approved a record $3.4 billion budget last week for the 2023 fiscal year.

Not only does the budget include record-breaking investments in infrastructure, bonds + public safety, but the budget itself is the first in city history to reach (and exceed) $3 billion.

There’s more here than we can cover in your daily five-minute scroll (additional resources below), so for now let’s talk broad strokes + highlights.

Break it down

The City Council broke down its budget this way:

  • $1.51 billion: General Fund (not required to be accounted for in some other fund)
  • $1.25 billion: Restricted funds (limited for specific projects)
  • $641 million: Capital Budget (committed to city facilities + infrastructure)

Within the General Fund, the Council broke it down:

  • $904.7 million: Public safety (fire, police)
  • $116.5 million: Streets & infrastructure
  • $61.5 million: Parks & recreation
  • $424.3 million: Other

Highlight: Energy rebate

The $75 million surplus in revenue for CPS will return (in part) to residents as a ~$30 credit on their October bill. What remains will contribute to weatherization + assistance for low-income utility customers. Residents can opt out of the rebate to contribute directly to these programs.

Highlight: Community infrastructure

$138 million for streets, sidewalks, and bike facilities, $160 million of spending out of the 2022 bond program, $19.6 million in new parks, and 30 new airport positions supporting the new terminal contribute to the city’s “greatest investments ever in infrastructure.”

Highlight: City services

Entry-level pay for civilian employees will increase to $17.50 an hour. Police + fire will receive a smaller portion of the budget than ever before (still $28 million more than last year), with more resources diverted to alternative emergency services. For example, $2 million will support the SACore mental health response team, and $1.3 million will support homeless outreach + hotlines.

There’s lots more. Read the breakdowns from MySA, KSAT-12, KENS5, and the City Council.