Moving to generate more tax revenue for city coffers, the City of San Antonio is moving ahead with an annexation plan that could add as many as 200,000 people and 66 square miles to the city. The city council voted in December in favor of conducting a fiscal analysis for the proposed annexation. The proposed areas surround the Bexar County cities of Windcrest, Kirby, and Converse. Some residents of the currently unincorporated areas are opposed to the initiative, fearing they will see little in return for the higher taxes they will inevitably pay as part of the land grab.
One of the concerns voiced by taxpayers in this area is that they could end up losing dedicated funds for emergency services through the plan. Kirby and Converse serve sections of said land through emergency service districts (ESDs), funded through local property taxes. The annexation plan could potentially cause these areas to lose links to the ESDs, and the dedicated revenue that comes with it. The loss of such service funding is especially concerning considering that residents will end up paying more in taxes for essentially the same level of service.
If approved in its entirety, the plan could potentially make San Antonio the nation’s fifth-largest city. The city’s planning agency has estimated that within 20 years of being fully annexed, the communities affected would cumulatively generate $77 million annually. The areas would then be subject to the city’s building, zoning, and water-conservation regulations.
The council is scheduled to vote December 2015 on whether to annex three of the five areas in the current plan. The remainder would be voted on some time in 2016.