May 1, 2024 - News

Here's what's on the May 4 ballot in San Antonio

Illustration of a pencil filling in a ballot with the checkbox in the shape of the state of Texas.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Election Day is Saturday.

Why it matters: It's expected to be a low-turnout election, although the results will impact school board politics and the property tax protest process.

The latest: In Bexar County, voters for the first time will elect three board positions for the Bexar County Appraisal District. The board hires the chief appraiser, sets the budget and appoints appraisal review board members.

Context: The change comes after lawmakers passed Senate Bill 2 last year, approved by voters in the fall, creating three elected board seats in counties with populations over 75,000. It's aimed at increasing accountability.

  • The appraisal district — not the board — determines annual property valuations based on market values, for tax purposes.

Zoom in: Nine candidates are on the ballot for the three at-large seats in Bexar County. They include several real estate agents and also people with backgrounds in local Republican politics, per the San Antonio Report.

What they're saying: State Rep. Gina Hinojosa (D-Austin) told the Austin Chronicle this month that the appraisal district elections were "a calculated effort to bring in more conservative and Republican viewpoints into the taxation process."

  • Bill author Sen. Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) said the election isn't meant to politicize the board. "Just totally reject that concept," he told the Texas Tribune. "That's utterly false on its face."

Reality check: "We're not sure yet how or what we're really going to be able to do," Mel Bayne, a retired U.S. Air Force pilot running for Place 3, told the San Antonio Report. "We still have to work with the unelected board members."

Of note: The seats are nonpartisan.

Also on the ballot: School board positions for the Alamo Colleges District, Medina Valley ISD and North East ISD, and a bond election for Medina Valley ISD.

  • Plus, some suburban cities will hold municipal elections for mayor and City Council seats.
  • Voters in Shavano Park and Terrell Hills will vote on propositions related to crime and property taxes, respectively.

In North East ISD, conservative politics are roiling board elections.

One of the NEISD candidates, Jacqueline Klein, was detained by San Antonio police last year after a public intoxication incident in which she cursed at an Uber driver, KSAT reported.

What's next: Voters can visit any polling site in Bexar County on Election Day from 7am to 7pm. Find locations, and a generic sample ballot, online.

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