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The San Antonio River Authority’s board of directors adopted a $374.4 million budget on Wednesday for the 2020-2021 fiscal year.

Down $11.5 million from the 2019-2020 amended budget, the adopted budget takes the COVID-19 pandemic’s affects on the economy into account.

“The changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequential long-term economic impacts are profound,” said Darrell T. Brownlow, board chairman. “The River Authority is adapting to these new realities, and we recognize that the expenditure of public dollars at a time of economic uncertainty requires thorough consideration and scrutiny.”

The budget, which begins on July 1, is based on a proposed tax rate of about 1.8 cents per $100 of property value, a rate unchanged from the current fiscal year.

The board approves a budget based on collecting the same amount of tax revenue as the previous fiscal year.

With the districtwide property tax appraisal process still underway and property values not finalized until later in July, the river authority identified projects and programs that could be delayed or eliminated if tax revenue turns out to be less than projected.

“Staff reduced operational expenses in the draft budget we proposed to the board and have worked closely with the board to identify further reductions that can be made should tax revenues from the on-going protests of property values come in less than our budgeted projections,” said Suzanne Scott, general manager of the San Antonio River Authority.

After receiving the final property valuations in July, the board will act on the final tax rate on Sept. 16.

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