Chamber Executive Committee votes in favor of sales tax destination change

Yesterday, the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee voted to support redirecting the One-Eighth-Cent Sales Tax from the Edwards Aquifer Protection Program to the Advanced Transportation District to improve public transportation across San Antonio. The position statement originated from the Chamber’s Infrastructure Committee co-chaired by Melisa Montemayor and Timothy Heinle. It was then presented to the Public Policy Council for their consideration, where it received overwhelming support. The position statement will now go before the Board of Directors next Thursday.

The current 1/8 cent sales tax funds the Edwards Aquifer Protection Program and Parks Development & Expansion Venue Project. Both programs are set to expire in 2021. On August 13, the San Antonio City Council voted 9-2 to place a workforce development initiative on the November 3 ballot. That initiative includes redirecting the 1/8 cent sales tax revenue to the City of San Antonio to fund short-term COVID-19 economic recovery efforts, including workforce development programs. If approved in November, sales tax collections for workforce development would start in Summer 2021 and go through December 31, 2025.

Also on August 13, the VIA Board of Trustees, acting as the Advanced Transportation District (ATD), voted 11-0 to place the measure on the ballot to redirect the same 1/8 cents sales tax from the City’s workforce development initiative to the ATD beginning January 1, 2026.

Both initiatives are dependent upon voter approval and will be on the November Election Ballot as two separate measures.

If approved by the Board of Directors next week, the Chamber will help support the Keep SA Moving plan up until the November 3 Election and will take a proactive approach to communicating this position to the business community, the media, and other Chamber members.

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