Fee Increase

San Marcos Parks and Recreation department is at a 10%* cost recovery rate. Other nearby cities are as follows: Round Rock at 28.5%; Georgetown at 24.1% and New Braunfels at 46.3%.


The goals of the increase were outlined to be:

  1. Financially Sustainable - Funding the costs of fiscally constrained operations (existing service levels) and incrementally increase the fee structure while remaining competitive;
  2. Simplify - Easy to understand and buy, appropriate to broad mixes of community members and customers; and
  3. Provide Wide Service Reach - Fees are consistent with Parks, Recreation, and Open Space master plan goals related to ensuring services are accessible to community members.


Notable changes include:

  1. Senior Citizen Age Definition - The qualifying age for the senior citizen discount went from 50 years old to 60 years old.
  2. Removal of Categories – In an effort to simplify the structure the senior citizen spouse rate, non-profit, and business commercial rates were removed.
  3. Entry Fee Standardization – After reviewing market analysis, value of service, and financial sustainability goals, base Activity Center entry fees will increase and be a flat rate ($6 for adults and $3 for youth/senior citizens) for residents and non-residents which includes access to all amenities.
  4. Resident Membership Fee - Resident membership fees will increase by 10% for adult, 15% for senior citizens, and 48% for youth with no change for family membership.
  5. Non-Resident Membership Fee – In addition to the standardized increase to base entry fees, a 25% premium for youth membership and a 49% premium for senior citizens was approved. No change in adult or family membership fees.

To view the approved Parks and Recreation Department rate summary click here


Summer 2018

Staff initiated a fee comparison study in which all fees (programs, entry fees, rentals) were given a rating on a scale of 1-5 based upon the level of benefit to the community as a whole with 1 being a high level of community benefit and 5 being a highly individual benefit. Consideration was also given to environmental and socioeconomic impact factors.

October 29, 2019 – Parks and Recreation Advisory Board Special Meeting

Staff presented the cost recovery initiative and proposed fee increases. The board voted to move forward with a Recommendation Resolution to Council in support of the FY20 proposed fees derived from the cost recovery fee study.

November 6, 2019 – City Council Meeting

Staff presented the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board approved plan.

March 17, 2020 – City Council Meeting

First reading, citizen comment

April 7, 2020 – City Council Meeting

Second reading, council voted and approved.

January 1, 2021

New fee schedule will go into effect. 

*The last fee increase of 3% was in September of 2016. The last cost recovery study took place in 2012.