The San Antonio Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors has adopted a position statement in support of the Proposition A ballot initiative. Proposition A seeks to amend the City of San Antonio charter language to allow for flexibility in bond projects, including funding for affordable housing, economic development and other capital projects. The City Charter language currently reads “public works”. Proposition A would allow use of bond money for “public purpose”. Proposition A is on the May 2021 ballot. Read the Chamber’s full position statement on Proposition A here.
Current City charter language allows the City of San Antonio to use funds raised by bond issuance for “public works”. This means the funds are restricted and can only be used for major capital investments having a public purpose, such as streets, draining, public safety facilities, flood control as well as quality of life enhancements related to libraries, parks, community recreation, cultural facilities and elimination of slum and blight. The City charter language does not currently allow flexibility to include affordable housing or economic development projects.
Reasons to support Proposition A:
- The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for both affordable housing and continued investment in economic development projects. The expansion of city charter language to include affordable housing and economic development projects as eligible for funding through bonds will help assist and drive the economic recovery of our city.
- The ability to directly participate in affordable housing and economic development projects could greatly enhance the City’s ability to create jobs and stimulate the local economy.
- San Antonio is currently the only major Texas city that restricts bond money to public works. This proposed change does not limit the City Council’s ability to review Bond Projects the way they are currently reviewed, it simply expands the types of projects that are eligible for consideration.
- If voters do not approve amending the current City charter language to expand bond projects eligibility on the May 2021 ballot, they will not be presented with this option again until the November 2022 General Election, and the City of San Antonio will not see any benefits of this added flexibility until November 2027.
By supporting Proposition A, the Chamber is supporting the City having the flexibility to use bond dollars for all public purposes permitted by the Texas Constitution, or the general laws of the state. The Chamber is not supporting any specific type of bond projects at this time.
The San Antonio Chamber of Commerce will help support Proposition A up until the May 1, 2021 Election. The Chamber will take a proactive approach to communicate this position to the business community, the media, and other Chamber members through the publication in The Chamber Today.