Amarillo homeowners could see property tax increase

Amarillo homeowners could see property tax increase
This is what each of the three proposed property tax increases would mean money-wise for home owners per year (Source: KFDA)
This is what each of the three proposed property tax increases would mean money-wise for home owners per year (Source: KFDA)
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - The Amarillo City Council is looking to put a possible property tax increase of up to four cents per $100 value on the ballot this November.

This money would not go toward the MPEV, but rather city needs council members and residents have decided are most important for Amarillo's stability and growth.

After more than 30 community meetings and over 1,000 online surveys from residents, your results have been compiled.

Streets, traffic upgrades and public safety improvements top the list of projects the community decided are most important Amarillo.

City staff have worked to downsize the initial $900 million of capital improvement projects to smaller amounts that can be funded by a increase in property taxes.

"One penny increase gives us about $1 million in new revenue," said Bob Cowell, deputy city manager. "That $1 million lets us borrow about $17 million. So at two pennies you've got $34 million and up through the list, so those pennies start to really, frankly, add up as you go along."

These increases would be spread over a five year period.

Here's what would be coming out of your pocket with the three options of a two, three or four cent increase.

For the average homeowner:

  • 2¢ increase = $24 per year
  • 3¢ increase = $37 per year
  • 4¢ increase = $49 per year

The higher the property tax increase, the more projects city staff can tackle.

"There are so many things that we need to fix in the city," said Mark Nair, city council member. "So many things that the city has not done in the past 10, 20 years and now we're faced with this just big list of things to make this a more competitive city, a more livable city, a more modern city."

But the decision to move forward with a tax increase, and how much, will ultimately come down to the voters.

"Yes, it's going to require people to say, 'I need to pay more to do it,'" said Nair. "But it's up to the people to make that determination. This is not just us saying, 'here's a new tax increase.' That's not the deal. The deal is, here is the ballot - it's your time to say, do you want to take Amarillo into the future? Or do you not."

Property owners 65 and older would not have to pay this tax increase.

There is still time to give the city your opinion on their project prioritization by filling out this online survey.

The council has until August 23rd to decide an amount and put the increase on the November ballot.

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