City of Amarillo pleased with sales tax revenue

City of Amarillo pleased with sales tax revenue

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - As 2018 kicks off, the City of Amarillo is pleased with the amount of sales tax they've collected this past fiscal year.

For 2017, they generated $74 million in sales tax, and those millions are going right back into the city services we use everyday.

"I just want to make sure and get the word out to our citizens, support the local businesses, shop here locally your sales tax money goes to great use. It stays here to provide great city services to our community," said Laura Storrs, Finance Director for the City of Amarillo. "Your public safety, your police, your fire, the streets, the parks around the community. All those city services we provide here comes from those sales tax dollars."

The sales tax comes from $3.7 billion in local sales - more than half of which are from those who don't live in the city.

"The one stop shop for entertainment, eating, medical services and I think a lot of people come here that maybe wouldn't go to another town to purchase something," said Andrew Freeman, Economic Development Manager for the City of Amarillo.

Retail makes up almost half of the sales tax revenue, but there was one surprising decline this year.

"The books and periodical music store section was down a little over 57% compared to 2016, which is reflected," said Freeman. "Hastings closed in 2016 which had three stores. That's probably a majority of that decrease so that was a little over $220,000  in that category that we didn't collect this year."

With that number drop, it presents a big opportunity for a business to begin a new chapter.

"If anyone local wants to get into that market. It puts the pressure on us to go out and recruit somebody else that could maybe go out and fill out that sells the books and periodicals," said Freeman.

Budget wise, the city of Amarillo stayed on target after noticing a flat line. They adjusted their spending to match the trend and came away with a positive.

"We under spent our budgets by even more then what that revenue deficit so really proud of all the city services that we were able to perform last year on very tight budgets and still come within budget constraints and revenue constraints," said Storrs.

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