As the political yard signs fill our yards faster than the leaves do this election season, it’s important that we all take a moment to check out the propositions on our ballots. During the election, voters decide how 1% of the sales and use tax is allocated by either voting for or against the propositions put forward on the ballot. In the 2020 general election, San Antonio has three propositions on the ballot. Two of the propositions are coming directly from the City of San Antonio.
Arguably, the most well-known proposition on the ballot is Proposition A (Pre-K 4 SA). Pre-K 4 SA was established in 2012 as an early childhood program. According to Vote 411, the goal of Pre-K 4 SA is to improve the education of San Antonio’s youngest learners in order to improve the knowledge and skills of the San Antonio workforce within one generation. The four program elements include the following:
Full-day Pre-K education which serves over 2,000 four year olds with well-researched content and teaching methods.
Parent training, which helps parents engage with school staff and build leadership skills.
Professional learning, which is offered free to all San Antonio early childhood teachers (birth through third grade).
Sharing successful teaching methods with public, private and parochial San Antonio schools which increased preschool access to 13,000 additional students and improved programs and facilities.
Voting for Proposition A would mean renewing the use of one-eighth of one percent of San Antonio’s sales tax to finance Pre-K 4 SA for the next eight years. Voting against Proposition A would mean the existing sales tax would be reduced by 12.5%. In May 2022, there would be an opportunity to consider another ballot measure which could raise the sales tax again.
The second proposition on the ballot, Proposition B, is Ready to Work SA, a workforce program for job training and scholarships. The City of San Antonio is asking voters to approve the redirection of 12.5% (one-eighth) of the sales and use tax away from funding the Edwards Aquifer Protection Plan and Greenway Trails programs toward job training programs to improve the skills of the San Antonio workforce. It’s important to note that the City Council has created an alternative Aquifer protection program that would dedicate $100 Million to protecting our water supply so, despite the cut in tax revenue they will still have significant funding.
Since this proposition does not ask for additional funding but rather a reallocation, this leaves voters to weigh where they would like their money spent.
Both propositions ask the voter to consider how they would like their tax dollars spent. Make sure you weigh the pros and cons before you make these big-ticket decisions.