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City council denied police protections repeal, approves housing tax exemptions

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Star file photo

At its July 2 meeting, San Marcos City Council received a letter from the city clerk denying a certification to repeal Chapter 143 civil protections for the San Marcos Police Department (SMPD).

“I, Elizabeth Trevino, city clerk for the city of San Marcos, Texas I do certify that the petition… is deemed invalid due to having an insufficient number of signatures of qualified San Marcos Voters,” Trevino wrote in the letter to city council.

Under Local Government Code Chapter 143, a petition to repeal Chapter 143 protections requires signatures from 10% of a city’s registered voters to sign it. According to an email from the city of San Marcos to The University Star, the petition submitted by Mano Amiga Safe Communities only had 850 signatures, instead of the required 4,518 required under state law.

Mano Amiga Safe Communities initially submitted signatures to the city clerk on April 30

Under the current system, SMPD must adhere to various rules when dealing with alleged police misconduct. These rules include waiting up to two days before interviewing the officers involved, permitting officers to forfeit vacation days instead of facing suspensions and allowing discipline only for incidents that occurred within the last 360 days.

San Marcos City Council approved a low-income housing tax credit resolution. The resolution is for the proposed “The Springs” multifamily housing project located by the I-35 and Aquarena Springs Drive intersection.

In addition, the council approved a one-time payment of $400,000 to the city in place of property taxes.

“It is rare that you find this kind of location with any multifamily, and so the opportunities that it provides to the residents, future residents, we think make it a great project,” Streamline Vice President of Development Laura DuPont said.

Streamline Advisory Partners is partnering with the San Marcos Housing Authority to develop the project. 

However, Mark Gleason said he was concerned about the long term budgetary consequences in relation to tax-exempt projects.

“What is happening is the tax that people are paying is going higher, they’re going to have to start finding other places to live, because they can’t afford their homes… I just don’t think not paying taxes is the answer for that,” Councilmember Matthew Mendoza said.

Construction on the low-income housing project will start as soon as all the necessary permits are obtained.

The San Marcos City Council meets at 6 p.m. every first and third Tuesday of each month. For more information, visit its website.

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