Amarillo's increased sales tax revenue brings money to the city

Amarillo's increased sales tax revenue brings money to the city

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - The recent increase of sales tax collections in Amarillo has generated more than $730 thousand in city revenue.

This comes as good news, since in November, an annual decline was reported and a couple of years prior, there was a plateau.

Now, there have been five months of increases.

Amarillo City Councilwoman Elaine Hays said the increased revenue is important, as the city relies heavily on the sales tax revenue for its general funding.

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"The second largest contribution to our general fund is our property tax, but the sales tax is 32 to 34 percent where property tax is 22 percent," said Hays. "So for us as a city, our equation for how we fund all of our city operations is very dependent on our sales tax collections."

In August, the city will take a closer look on how to allocate the money moving forward into the 2019 budget.

Hays said one of its top concerns is public safety, so the fire and police departments are high on the city's list.

"We are understaffed in both of those areas," said Hays. "We need to continue redirecting funds to our police and fire departments because it is crucial. Those are some of the most important things to us as a community and they'll continue to be."

The city attributed some increases in revenue to the "By the Way, Keep it Local" program.

The program encourages residents to continue to shop locally as the funds created will circle back to keep the city running.

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