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Mayoral Horserace

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Once elected next spring, San Antonio’s new mayor will have just a few months to prepare for the 2016 budget.

During a recent council meeting, District 6 Councilman Ray Lopez (a former mayoral hopeful) asked the prospective council appointees for District 2 and 7 whether they would support raising the property-tax rate—a move Alamo City politicians haven’t hazarded in 22 years.

The lone declared mayoral candidate, State Rep. Mike Villarreal, said there is no reason property taxes in San Antonio should increase. “I don’t want to raise property taxes. It’s important to recognize that the rate may have stayed flat, but appraisals have increased and the amount of properties on tax rolls at a higher market value has grown,” Villarreal said.

While that may be an easy answer for the books, public libraries could become a hot-button topic if the current council and Mayor Ivy Taylor don’t reach an interlocal agreement with Bexar County, which would like to renegotiate how much funding it kicks in for San Antonio’s library system.

But Villarreal’s willing to take on that challenge, and he thinks library funding is just one example where there could be more city-county cooperation to serve residents. If elected, Villarreal said he intends to work closely with the next Bexar County judge—whom he hopes is current officeholder Nelson Wolff. “I’m going to have weekly conversations with him to find ways we can advance our interests together,” Villarreal said.

And we hope we’re able to bounce potential policy controversies off more official candidates soon.

They’ll undoubtedly come forward as the May election draws closer.

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