Advocacy Alert: North SA Chamber Opposes Proposed Storm Water Fee Changes

North Chamber logo 4c stackedThe City of San Antonio (CoSA) Transportation & Capital Improvements (TCI) proposed a project to “migrate the existing Storm Water Utility Fee from one based upon land use and parcel size to one based upon impervious cover,” and completed a study to determine revenues needed to be recovered by the fee over the next five years. TCI has communicated the proposed changes in rate methodology to various stakeholders including governmental agencies, chambers of commerce, professional and other organizations, as well as school districts. Learn more about the Storm Water Utility Fee

As the process has progressed, the North SA Chamber, as a stakeholder, has determined the proposed Storm Water Fee changes will penalize property owners for building activity that occurred before the adoption of the proposed methodology and rates. The Storm Water Fee restructuring will affect both residential and commercial customers.

The North SA Chamber board of directors met Tuesday, July 22, 2014 and voted in opposition of the proposed Storm Water Fee as it is currently presented. We have seen example commercial Storm Water Fee calculations using the proposed methodology showing in most cases, increases of several hundred percent, and in some cases, increases of more than 1000% or even 2000%. This is unreasonable. Click here to read the letter your North SA Chamber sent to city staff and officials

The Storm Water Fee restructuring will result in increases in commercial fees that will be burdensome to absorb by public schools, colleges, universities and existing businesses with large campuses including corporate headquarters, manufacturing facilities, hotels/resorts, attractions, multi-family housing, commercial office complexes, auto dealerships, retail establishments and others. Additionally, the new methodology and rates would be unattractive to an existing business considering expansion or a new business considering relocation within the city limits of San Antonio, thus will result in a negative impact on business retention, expansion and recruitment.

North SA Chamber Position:
The North SA Chamber is opposed to an increase in Storm Water Fees to any individual user of more than 10% in any given fiscal year. The North SA Chamber respectfully requests that the proposed Storm Water Fee restructuring not be adopted in the 2015 CoSA budget, and that the process be permitted to continue further until the City, stakeholders and the public can address issues including the definition of impervious cover, methodology, rate structure and appeals. Click here to obtain the Advocacy Alert flyer

Call to Action:

  • Contact the Mayor and your City Council Representative.
  • Tell them September 2014 is too early to adopt the flawed, proposed Storm Water Fee restructuring.
  • Tell them you are opposed to the Storm Water Fee proposed methodology and rates.
  • Ask them to continue to revise the proposed Storm Water Fee methodology and rates with stakeholder and public input.

City Elected Officials Contact Information:

Mayor Ivy R. Taylor
210.207.7060
Mayor.IvyTaylor@sanantonio.gov

Councilman Diego Bernal, District 1
210.207.7279
district1@sanantonio.gov

Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran, District 3
210.207.7064
district3@sanantonio.gov

Councilman Rey Saldana, District 4
210.207.7281
district4@sanantonio.gov

Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales, District 5
210.207.7043
Shirley.Gonzales@sanantonio.gov

Councilman Ray Lopez, District 6
210.207.7065
district6@sanantonio.gov

Councilman Cris Medina, District 7
210.207.7044
district7@sanantonio.gov

Councilman Ron Nirenberg, District 8
210.207.7086
district8@sanantonio.gov

Councilman Joe Krier, District 9
210.207.7325
district9@sanantonio.gov

Councilman Mike Gallagher, District 10
210.207.7276
district10@sanantonio.gov

City of San Antonio Mayor & City Council

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 839966
San Antonio, TX 78283

Physical Address
City Hall, 4th Floor
100 Military Plaza
San Antonio, TX 78205

Advocacy Alert SWF Flyer

PeopleFund and Capital One Bank team to provide financing for new Accion Texas corporate campus

Accion logo colorAccion Texas will soon begin construction on its new corporate campus in San Antonio at 2015 W. Martin Street.  The new campus consists of four buildings. The centerpiece is a 13,100-square-foot headquarters complemented by a 1,897-square-foot business incubator center, a 1,400-square-foot workshop and training building as well as a 1,000–square-foot café which will be used as a culinary learning center.

Accion Texas President and CEO Janie Barrera and volunteers have spearheaded the project and initial fundraising since a multi-million-dollar capital campaign was announced in June 2012.  The capital campaign was awarded a $1.3 million grant from the United States Economic Development Agency.  In addition, approximately $1.4 million in grants and gifts have been raised from other benefactors.

Although the capital campaign is doing very well, Accion is short of its goal needed to begin construction.  However, recognizing the community impact of the project and also the successful history of Accion, PeopleFund and Capital One Bank were able to complete a creative financing solution that closed on December 30, 2013 to allow Accion to immediately begin construction.

The financing included a $6.1 million New Market Tax Credit (NMTC) allocation from PeopleFund with a tax credit equity investment and leverage loan from Capital One Bank.  Capital One also provided a $3.5 million construction loan.

“With our rapid growth, we have run out of space. Now we have funding in place to promptly build the entire campus as a single project,” Barrera said. “We thank PeopleFund for awarding its NMTC to us and to Capital One for providing construction financing to allow us time to complete our capital campaign.  Now our goal will be to continue our capital campaign to raise the remaining funds.”

On Sept. 17, the three organizations committed to the project. According to PeopleFund President and CEO Gary Lindner, “We seek to place our NMTC credits in high impact non-profit community projects located in severely distressed census tracts. Accion Texas is a great organization and a perfect fit for a NMTC investment.”

Capital One Bank, led by its Austin Market President and Commercial Banking Executive, Mike Perrine, also played an essential and pivotal role in making this financial deal a reality. “New Market Tax Credits transactions represent an example of how federal resources and local know-how can work together to support revitalization of underserved areas,” said Perrine.  “Capital One Bank has partnered with Accion and PeopleFund on a number of their important community programs, and that makes this latest transaction even more special.”

PeopleFund
Peoplefund is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Established in 1994, it is a U.S. Treasury certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and SBA certified lender. PeopleFund provides business loans up to $250,000 to Texas businesses that lack access to traditional financing. It also provides clients business assistance and education. 89% of loans are to a target market of minority, women, and veteran business owners and those residing in low to moderate income census tracts. Over 50% of loans go to startup businesses and high social impact nonprofits. Through access to capital and education, PeopleFund creates economic opportunity and financial stability to build healthy small businesses.

Capital One
Capital One Financial Corporation (www.capitalone.com) is a financial holding company whose subsidiaries, which include Capital One, N.A., and Capital One Bank (USA), N.A., had $206.9 billion in deposits and $289.9 billion in total assets as of September 30, 2013. Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Capital One offers a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients through a variety of channels. Capital One, N.A. has more than 900 branch locations primarily in New York, New Jersey, Texas, Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. A Fortune 500 company, Capital One trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “COF” and is included in the S&P 100 index.

Accion Texas
Established in 1994 in San Antonio as a nonprofit organization, Accion Texas Inc.’s financial and business-support services help entrepreneurs strengthen their businesses, stabilize and increase their incomes, create employment and contribute to the economic revitalization of their communities.  Accion has the nation’s largest microloan portfolio and is committed to providing capital to entrepreneurs who do not have access to loans from commercial sources. Since its inception, Accion Texas has disbursed 14,000 loans totaling more than $152 million and now operates in eight states – Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas.  For more information, visit www.acciontexas.org or call 1-888-215-2373.