As you know, the North SA Chamber has a long history as an advocate for business-friendly initiatives and legislation, as well as infrastructure improvements. We work to consistently champion a pro-business agenda and endeavor to serve as a collective voice to represent our large and small business members in government policy and legislative issues, especially at the local and state levels.
Our board of directors, government affairs and infrastructure committees monitor and suggest necessary changes and/or improvements on a number of issues including infrastructure. Regularly the North SA Chamber board of directors takes positions of endorsement or opposition of such issues.
At the September 24th North SA Chamber board of directors meeting, board members heard from Cris Eugster, Group EVP at CPS Energy, regarding the CPS Energy proposed rate increase to be voted on and approved by City Council, and from our Government Affairs Council Chair, Rob Killen of Kauffman Killen, regarding the Proposed Texas Constitutional Amendments Nos. 3 and 6, which are on the ballot for the November 5th election. The North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce board of directors reviewed, held discussion, voted and endorsed each proposition.
CPS Energy Rate Adjustment
In late September CPS Energy was proposing a 4.75 percent rate increase – the first since 2010, to keep up with an expanding customer base and to upgrade existing infrastructure. The North SA Chamber understands that even with a rate increase CPS Energy’s rates still will be among the lowest in Texas, and our board believes it’s critical for economic development and business retention to provide efficient reliable power to keep our economy strong. Following our board meeting, City Council and the public have expressed concern over the utility’s bonus program, and chief executive Doyle Beneby has since announced a reduction in the proposed rate increase to 4.25 percent as well as a 50 percent reduction in employee bonus plans for years 2015 and 2016, thus making the rate increase more satisfactory to its detractors. City Council will vote on the rate adjustment at the November 7 Council meeting, and if approved, the new rates will take effect February 1, 2014.
Constitutional Amendment Election – November 5, 2013
Additionally, the North SA Chamber encourages our members and the community to vote “Yes” for the proposed Constitutional Amendment, No. 3 on the ballot, “The constitutional amendment to authorize a political subdivision of this state to extend the number of days that aircraft parts that are exempt from ad valorem taxation due to their location in this state for a temporary period may be located in this state for purposes of qualifying for the tax exemption.” Texas is one of only 11 states to levy a property tax on inventory. Learn more at the Texas Association of Manufacturers’ website, or download the Proposition 3 Fact Sheet.
Furthermore, the North SA Chamber encourages our members and the community to vote “Yes” for the proposed Constitutional Amendment, No. 6 on the ballot, “The constitutional amendment providing for the creation of the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas and the State Water Implementation Revenue Fund for Texas to assist in the financing of priority projects in the state water plan to ensure the availability of adequate water resources.” Learn more at the H204Texas website, or download the Proposition 6 Fact Sheet.
Remember, with the passing of Senate Bill 14, voters are now required to present an approved form of photo identification in order to vote in all Texas Elections. Visit VoteTexas.Gov for more information.
On behalf of the North SA Chamber board of directors, we ask for your thoughtful consideration of these items and encourage you to exercise your civic rights by offering feedback to your City Council member and voting in the November 5th election. Thank you for all you do to keep San Antonio and Bexar County strong.