City of Amarillo budget discussions underway

City of Amarillo budget discussions underway

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - The City of Amarillo continues working on next year's budget, which is just over $359 million, about $30 million higher than last year.

City staff and the city council will be reviewing this detailed budget proposal all week, looking at every aspect of where the city's money would be going.

"We're going to spend less money in the general fund this year," said City Manager Jared Miller. "That doesn't mean the tax rates going down or anything like that, but we are spending less money in the general fund this year than we did last year. "

The city's general fund gets its revenue from property taxes, which will be increasing this year due to the approved bond propositions from the November election.

Property taxes for Amarillo residents will increase by 1.292 ¢ per $100 of  taxable property starting October 1st.

This tax rate increase will fund $20 million of safety and street bond projects included in this year's budget.

Miller said his staff proposed an additional tax increase on top of that set amount, but the city council is hesitant to raise taxes more than necessary.

That $20 million allotment for bond projects is the main reason for this year's bigger city budget.

Individual department budgets are not changing much.

"We're keeping budgets steady across all the departments," said Miller. "We are forgoing some additions to some departments. In fact, we're forgoing almost all supplemental requests for project enhancements and service enhancements."

City staff and the city council have two more all day meetings to discuss the budget.

Those meetings are Wednesday and Thursday in the city council chambers inside City Hall.

Both start at 8:30 a.m. and run until 4 p.m. on Wednesday and 4:30 p.m. on Thursday.

A public hearing will be set in the next week and Miller hopes to have the budget approved by September 12th.

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