AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - New data shows Amarillo’s sale tax revenue increased more than 10 percent or about $600,000 in April, one of the largest increases in the last five years.
With the increase, according to the Texas Comptroller, the City of Amarillo has received nearly $6.3 million.
Over the last 10 to 15 years, the city has seen gradual increases, but this is one of the highest it’s seen since 2014.
“We normally do not see an increase of 10 percent here in our community. So, this is a really encouraging number to see," says City of Amarillo Finance Director Laura Storrs. “We hope that it continues and sustains going forward.”
The sales tax revenue can be attributed to one of the big changes in the community that started in April and has helped businesses all around Amarillo.
“All of that sales tax wasn’t all generated downtown, a lot of that may have been generated because of the new ballpark, but people just got out more than they have before,” says Amarillo Convention & Visitor Council Senior Vice President Dan Quandt. “It just helped create a vibrancy for Amarillo that has been exciting to see.”
As businesses in Amarillo sees more activity, one manager says that when the Sod Poodles are playing, they know to staff extra people on game days.
“There is a lot of activity going on downtown, it’s not just us. I think all the restaurants down here are seeing a pretty good up-tick in sales," explains Napoli’s Manager Jim Roberts. "I see people walking back and forth before the game, they will come have a drink. All is good, that baseball has helped.”
“The ball team started in April. We certainly feel that had a positive influence on our sales tax. We can’t pinpoint that it is necessary all driven by that, but we are very pleased with the numbers that came in,” says Storrs.
Sales tax revenue is the largest source of funding for the city. Anytime the taxes go up, money is put to use for police, fires, parks and many other ways to help the community.