Amarillo city leaders have first public hearing on maximum tax rate

Amarillo city leaders have first public hearing on maximum tax rate

Amarillo, TX - After much discussion, the Amarillo city council has agreed on a proposed maximum tax rate. The current tax rate in the city is 0.34509 or 34.5 cents. The proposed tax rate, which is a 5% increase, is 0.35240 or 35.24 cents.

The average homeowner would pay an extra $22 a year under the proposed rate. City manager, Jarrett Atkinson says the new rate would do the city some good.

"It would add 9 new sworn in officers and an administrative personnel to help behind the scenes. The increase would also help add afternoon, evenings, and weekend positions to the Animal Management and Welfare," said Atkinson.

Council member, Randal Burkett would like to see an increase that isn't so severe for Amarillo residents.

"My goal is to go back into the budget and go through some departments and see if we can do some cut backs where we can lower the 5%, if not do away with it," said Burkett.

Even though the increase is not set in stone, some residents say the council should as for help when making this decision. Concerned resident, Robert Goodrich says the city should look into having a third-party auditor come and take a look at our budget to see if the increase is really needed.

"It doesn't give me the confidence that I need as a tax paying citizen that the decision to increase the tax rate was done to the best of their ability, or they looked into account every important variable," said Goodrich.

Now that the maximum tax rate is set, the council is not allowed to go over it but they can pass a lower rate.

Residents with concerns are encouraged to voice them at city council meetings leading up to September 15th. That is when the council will make a final vote on the new rate.