Tax rate being discussed by Amarillo city leaders

Tax rate being discussed by Amarillo city leaders

Amarillo, TX - One-cent increase in property taxes is part of a $176 million dollar budget being discussed in great detail by Amarillo city leaders.

The council members have been discussing the 2015-2016 budget since last week. The purpose of Monday evening's meeting is to get them prepared for Tuesday where they plan to set a maximum tax rate.

This year, the proposed general fund budget is $176 million.

"It really represents what most of us think about. Those are the things that don't carry a dollar charge with them. The police department, fire department, parks and streets," said City Manager Jarrett Atkinson.

The current tax rate is just under 35.5%, where a homeowners with a $100,000 home would pay around $345. With the one-cent increase, residents with a $100,000 home would pay about $10 more in taxes each year.

Atkinson says that penny would add about $940,000 in revenue. That would pay for 9 more police officers, promote officers to higher rankings, and increase operating costs for vaccines and medicine at the city's animal shelter.

"We are providing additional people or equipment to try and meet the growth that we've had in the city," said Atkinson.

Atkinson says the council started to discuss the penny increase last week, but many didn't like the idea because the increase is too high.

"They said it was equivalent to 5.8%. So we are going to see if we can get it down to 4.0 or 4.3%," said Atkinson.

On Tuesday the city council will finalize what the maximum tax rate increase will be. The council will then officially vote on the final tax rate September 15th.