In November, Amarillo citizens will head to the polls to vote on new tax rate increase

Published: Oct. 4, 2021 at 9:10 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Today was the last day to register to vote for the upcoming Amarillo city election and there’s a new tax rate voters will be voting on.

A lot is at stake for the City of Amarillo as the city election approaches.

The City of Amarillo says the council has heard from citizens about the need for increased funding in public safety, streets and most recently more funding for the parks.

Because of that, the council has decided to propose a property tax rate increase to address those areas and now they’re asking for the community’s feedback in the upcoming election.

“To start really addressing some of the maintenance problems we’ve come into and just the expansion that we need in our community, we need citizens to go out on November 2. Council has asked them to go out and weigh in on this process. Instead of our elected officials making the decision, they’re putting it more in the hands of the tax payers, the voters, to say yes, it’s important, we want to continue putting more funding in these areas, or no this is not the right time,” said Laura Storrs, assistant city manager and CFO for city of Amarillo.

Storrs says public safety is a top priority, especially with the recent shootings.

If passed, they would add more APD officers, provide the necessary equipment for new officers, add general staff to the department, and increase pay for 911 dispatches.

The fire department would acquire additional software needs and safety equipment.

“We have a lot of streets in our community and a lot of those are in need of repairs. Pot holes are always a problem and so any additional funding we can have there and then there’s street resurfacing as our streets are aging,” said Storrs.

For the parks, the additional funding would go towards maintenance to help bring the parks up to a better standard.

Also, they would add trails, improve playground facilities and expand upon athletic fields to hopefully bring outside people into our community that would in return bring more money into Amarillo.

Preliminary registration voter numbers for Randall County as of this morning stands at 92,829 voters and Potter County stands at 56, 423 voters.

This only one portion of the total property tax bill.

One other important thing to keep in mind is citizens who are 65-years of age or older, this tax increase would not affect them.

Key dates to keep in mind are October 18 through the 29, that is early voting.

November 2, is election day.

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