AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Amarillo is moving forward with plans to build a costlier MPEV, and the city said it has all the funding necessary to make it happen.
City officials said it will not affect local taxpayers at all, and property taxes will not increase to fund the project.
Amarillo has found a way to use mainly hotel occupancy taxes (HOT taxes) to fund a baseball stadium big enough to host a major league affiliated team.
The Local Government Corporation (LGC) was able to bump down the price of the updated venue from $48 million to $44 million.
"It's going to be funded by the HOT tax revenue bonds," said Michelle Bonner, Assistant City Manager. "What we did on this pro forma is look at what these HOT tax revenue bonds generate in the form of bond proceeds and this pro forma shows $36 million."
That's assuming a 4% annual increase in the city's HOT tax revenue.
Another $1.45 million would come from a downtown public improvement district (PID) for street-scaping.
The remaining $8 million is coming from the city's Civic Center Improvement Fund (HOT taxes) that's being redirected to fund the MPEV.
"It looks to me like it's a conservative effort to cover this," said Mayor Paul Harpole of the funding proposal. "When we look at the economic impact of this in our city and what it could bring to me it's really an important way for us to move forward. I think we are looking at a bit of an historic day this day and next week when this is ratified."
If nothing changes, the city will be at a debt service of just over $3.2 million per year for the next 28 years to cover both the MPEV and the downtown parking garage.
That debt will be paid off using HOT taxes and revenue from the downtown parking garage.
Harpole said next week the city council will discuss a resolution for the LGC to start getting a proposal for an affiliated team together.
"They still have to work out agreements, they still have to get a team, they still have to do a lot of things," said Harpole. "But we're giving them direction. So we've sort of painted a box that they can work in, and as that box changes from what we said before to build an independent stadium, now with the ability to get a Double-A league it looks like we're going to move forward and encourage that."
Both the city and the Amarillo Convention & Visitor Council will be donating an initial half a million dollars each of their HOT tax funding to help pay for the MPEV.
City officials want to emphasize that no taxes will have to be raised at all to fund a bigger MPEV.