Bexar County Commissioners have okayed a new 2018 County budget which includes a slight tax rate cut to help homeowners who are stressed out by rising property assessments, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
The fractional cut in the tax rate won't be enough to prevent most homeowners from paying more in taxes, but Commissioner Paul Elizondo says they deserve an 'E' for effort.
"Basically, we're lowering the tax rate," he said. "I realize that the reality is that the tax itself increases."
The City of San Antonio did not include any tax rate cut in its 2018 budget, preferring to scoop up the full windfall from property appraisals which, in some cases, were up by 8% or more.
The Bexar County budget includes funding for an innovative Opioid Synthetic Cannabinoids Tax Force, to deal with the epidemic of pain killer and fake marijuana use, which is blamed for driving up both crime rates, and the number of panhandlers on streetcorners.
It includes an increase in the County's minimum wage from $13,75 top $14.25 per hour.The budget also includes funding for a unique Military Transition Center, which will help local military members make the sometimes difficult transition into civilian life.
"For the last year and a half, we have been working with the JBSA Command, folks in Washington, and our local delegation to help transition our military to civilian life," Commissioner Kevin Wolff said. "We are very happy to be able to expand and increase the efficiency and accessibility to these services."
The budget also includes the Felony Impact Court program, which are part time courts which hear cases of jailed defendants who request either a trial or a plea bargain. The idea is to speed the release of people who don't need to be held in jail, and cut down on jail overcrowding.